In The Manner of MARTIN CARLIN (1730 - 1785)

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In The Manner of MARTIN CARLIN (1730 - 1785)

A Near Pair of Transitional Style Salon Or Bedside Tables

FRANCE, Circa 1890

REF No. B74621


Height :78 cm | 30³/₄ in
Width :45 cm | 17³/₄ in
Depth :32 cm | 12⁵/₈ in


A Near Pair of Transitional Style Gilt-Bronze and Porcelain Mounted Salon Or Bedside Tables, In The Manner of Martin Carlin.

These refined and sophisticated tables each have a gilt-bronze three quarter galleried top, inset with a finely painted Sèvres style porcelain plaque depicting a genre scene, with gilt-bronze encadrement above three drawers inset with porcelain plaques painted with ribbon tied foliate running pattern. The sides inset with fine rectangular plaques depicting ribbon-tied baskets issuing flowers against diapered backgrounds. The angles mounted with fine gilt-bronze mounts of scrolling acanthus and laurel garlands and raised on cabriole legs united by an undertier and terminating in acanthus cast sabots.

The finely painted genre scenes to the top of the tables and the colourful overflowing baskets of flowers and ribbons to the sides and fronts, combine with the rich gilt-bronze mounts to create a pair of tables of exquisite refinement, full of charm and elegance.

The porcelain top of one table depicts a musical concert, and the other a marriage contract, both painted in the 18th century style. During the 18th century, marriage contracts were a popular motif for artists in France. The fine scene of a ‘contrat de marriage’ on one of these salon tables has possibly been painted in the manner of William Hogarth. Hogarth’s series of six paintings, ‘Marriage a la mode’ from 1745- 1747, depicts the theme of a marriage contract.

Scenes of musical concerts were also popular during the 18th century, with many artists painting lively and energetic scenes in the typical rococo fashion. The scene on one of our tables recalls Etienne Jeaurat’s ‘The Concert’. Jeaurat was an artist celebrated for his genre paintings and lively compositions who became the guardian of the king’s collection of painting in Versailles from 1767.

The fashion for porcelain, mounted onto exquisite furniture pieces, was brought to the novelty-seeking Parisian connoisseurs by ébénistes working for the principal marchand merciers around 1760. The original pioneer was Simon-Philippe Poirier, the celebrated marchand mercier, working chiefly with the ébéniste Martin Carlin, and who ordered his first plaques in 1758. These items were rare and sought after even at the time of their production, and most examples now reside in museum collections. The 19th century saw a revival for this fashion in porcelain-mounted furniture, with very fine and exquisite pieces being designed such as this near pair of tables.


Martin Carlin was born in Germany in 1730 and emigrated to Paris to become an ébéniste. He was already active as an ébéniste by 1759, at which time he married Marie-Catherine Oeben, sister of the successful ébéniste Jean-Francois Oeben, for whom he probably worked until the latters death in 1763. Carlin died in 1785.
Carlin sold his works exclusively to middlemen such as the marchands-merciers Simon-Philippe Poirier and Dominique Daguerre. He was particularly known for his furniture decorated with Sèvres porcelain plaques, and in the early 1780's with Japenese lacquer panels. His first recorded piece of porcelain mounted furniture dates to 1763, a bonheur-du-jour now in the Bowes Museum, Co. Durham. He worked from designs provided by Dominique Daguerre, for the foremost collectors of the day, including the French Crown. Carlin shifted his emphasis after 1778 to producing sumptuous furniture decorated with Japanese lacquer, for the Merchands.
His furniture was purchased by, among others, Mesdames, the aunts of Louis XVI, Mme du Barry, the Duchesse de Mazarin, the Duchesse de Bourbon, the Queen of Naples and the Duchesse de Saxe-Teschen.

Martin Carlin

A Near Pair of Transitional Style Salon Or Bedside Tables

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