9- Writing-Table attributed to André-Charles Boulle, c.1720

Conserved in 2002


The writing-table after conservation. Copyright The Trustees of The Wallace Collection, Inv. F427, Cat. 158.

Extract from the conservation report:

During the dismantling of this desk, the appearance and the construction details of each of the three drawer locks led us to date them as XIXth century. Added to the locks’ appearance, the cavity created in the solid drawer fronts made in which to inlay these locks, related perfectly to them, allowing us to conclude that the lock as well as the drawer carcases were XIXth century. Early Boulle furniture locks are more often found protruding from the wood panel and not inlaid as on this desk. Careful observation revealed more screw holes in the wooden drawer front than that used to fix the current locks. A screw of c.1720 was fitted without difficulty in the spare holes which evidently were the old screw holes from the previous locks. Therefore, the locks had obviously been replaced with modern locks that, rather than being placed on top of the wood front panel, had been inlaid inside the panel, creating a cavity of very new appearance. Additionally some of the old screw holes were clearly half covered by the veneer of satiné found inside the drawers. It is evident that this veneer had not been perforated by the old screws and that therefore that this veneer was glued after the replacement of the locks.

Yannick Chastang, October 2002