Show me:
and
Clear all filters

  • 32 items Explore
  • 38 items
  • 22 items Explore
  • 47 items
  • 92 items
  • 3,443 items Explore
  • 89 items Explore
  • 2 items
  • 4 items
  • 41 items
  • 10,029 items Explore
  • 209 items Explore
  • 1,211 items Explore
  • 7,413 items Explore
  • 4,913 items Explore
  • 71 items Explore
  • 124 items Explore
  • 9,431 items Explore
  • 13,011 items Explore
  • 4,336 items Explore
  • 7 items
  • 41 items
  • 5 items
  • 127 items Explore
  • 2,039 items Explore
  • 2 items
  • 4,683 items Explore
  • 24 items Explore
  • 440 items Explore
  • 18,184 items Explore
  • 34 items Explore
  • 1,810 items Explore
  • 960 items Explore
  • 6 items
  • 5,281 items Explore
  • 410 items Explore
  • 29 items
  • 923 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 1 items Explore
  • 4 items
  • 8 items
  • 16,943 items Explore
  • 787 items Explore
  • 2 items
  • 73 items Explore
  • 33 items
  • 798 items
  • 25 items
  • 61 items
  • 28 items
  • 303 items Explore
  • 6 items
  • 44 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 2 items
  • 134 items
  • 2 items
  • 2 items
  • 109 items Explore
  • 116 items
  • 896 items Explore
  • 832 items
  • 91 items
  • 27 items
  • 7 items
  • 23,967 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 3,351 items Explore
  • 1,508 items Explore
  • 352 items
  • 191 items Explore
  • 7,650 items Explore
  • 8,917 items Explore
  • 4 items
  • 1 items
  • 39 items
  • 3 items
  • 4 items
  • 5,732 items Explore
  • 5,425 items Explore
  • 4,035 items Explore
  • 943 items Explore
  • 911 items Explore
  • 3,090 items Explore
  • 3 items
  • 312 items
  • 1 items
  • 1 items
  • 3,252 items Explore
  • 20 items Explore
  • 313 items Explore
  • 726 items Explore
  • 807 items Explore
  • 476 items Explore
  • 1,088 items Explore
  • 1,004 items
  • 89 items
  • 124 items Explore
  • 6,135 items Explore
  • 163 items
  • 311 items
  • 7 items Explore
  • 4 items
  • 24 items
  • 58 items
  • 300 items Explore
  • 2 items
  • 2,841 items Explore
  • 1,311 items Explore
  • 69 items
  • 43 items
  • 18,456 items Explore
  • 1,099 items Explore
  • 138 items
  • 955 items Explore
  • 28 items
  • 1 items
  • 145 items Explore
  • 18 items
  • 23 items
  • 252 items
  • 311 items
  • 820 items Explore
  • 1,893 items
  • 279 items Explore
  • 2,344 items
  • 2,503 items
  • 6 items
  • 2 items
  • 3 items
  • 3,684 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 29,685 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 3,065 items Explore
  • 197 items Explore
  • 7,417 items Explore
  • 31 items
  • 25 items
  • 720 items Explore
  • 3 items
  • 65 items
  • 156 items
  • 52 items
  • 20,207 items Explore
  • 820 items
  • 17 items
  • 2 items
  • 19,209 items Explore
  • 5 items
  • 1,999 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 1,018 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 57 items
  • 419 items
  • 3,280 items Explore
  • 5 items
  • 82 items
  • 446 items Explore
  • 3 items
  • 20 items
  • 90 items Explore
  • 68 items
  • 289 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 4 items
  • 114 items
  • 272 items
  • 764 items
  • 718 items
  • 1 items
  • 341 items Explore
  • 459 items Explore
  • 10,349 items Explore
  • 699 items Explore
  • 5,852 items Explore
  • 19 items
  • 5,001 items Explore
  • 27 items
  • 1 items
  • 5,276 items Explore
  • 4 items
  • 3,304 items Explore
  • 9,171 items Explore
  • 6,814 items Explore
  • 183 items
  • 19 items
  • 142 items
  • 7 items
  • 981 items Explore
  • 17 items
  • 3,920 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 4 items
  • 1,022 items Explore
  • 192 items
  • 1 items
  • 3,485 items Explore
  • 20 items
  • 696 items Explore
  • 17 items
  • 115 items
  • 3,246 items Explore
  • 12,473 items Explore
  • 2,732 items Explore
  • 5 items
  • 7,982 items Explore
  • 31 items
  • 1 items
  • 21,312 items Explore
  • 91 items
  • 38 items
  • 12,568 items Explore
  • 3,294 items Explore
  • 1,977 items Explore
  • 2 items
  • 162 items
  • 34,988 items Explore
  • 634 items Explore
  • 415 items
  • 21,270 items Explore
  • 195 items
  • 3 items
  • 1 items
  • 16 items
  • 29 items
  • 64 items Explore
  • 4 items
  • 216 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 13,565 items Explore
  • 3 items
  • 10,108 items
  • 9 items
  • 10 items
  • 13 items
  • 25 items
  • 3,825 items Explore
  • 859 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 1 items
  • 1 items
  • 195 items
  • 882 items Explore
  • 42 items
  • 2,058 items Explore
  • 1,137 items Explore
  • 14 items
  • 1,800 items Explore
  • 135 items
  • 73 items
  • 699 items Explore
  • 2,871 items Explore
  • 38 items
  • 22 items
  • 12 items
  • 9,563 items Explore
  • 20,597 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 1 items
  • 1 items
  • 3 items
  • 1,188 items
  • 170 items Explore
  • 5 items
  • 7 items
  • 80 items
  • 1 items
  • 10,007 items Explore
  • 3,527 items Explore
  • 2,608 items Explore
  • 4,669 items Explore
  • 23 items
  • 57 items
  • 6,345 items Explore
  • 4,029 items Explore
  • 459 items Explore
  • 2,255 items Explore
  • 1,886 items Explore
  • 3 items
  • 1,271 items Explore
  • 32 items
  • 216 items Explore
  • 353 items Explore
  • 5,403 items Explore
  • 8,932 items Explore
  • 1,827 items Explore
  • 3,572 items Explore
  • 3,331 items Explore
  • 8,825 items Explore
  • 72 items
  • 11 items
  • 2,525 items Explore
  • 5 items
  • 7 items
  • 24 items
  • 51 items
  • 1 items
  • 1,903 items Explore
  • 615 items Explore
  • 62 items
  • 16 items
  • 141 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 72 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 458 items
  • 11 items
  • 1,000 items
  • 29 items
  • 3,563 items Explore
  • 5 items
  • 8,309 items Explore
  • 47 items Explore
  • 10 items
  • 43 items
  • 3 items
  • 12,989 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 1,017 items Explore
  • 91 items
  • 9,990 items Explore
  • 779 items Explore
  • 2,007 items
  • 5,097 items Explore
  • 21 items
  • 12,327 items Explore
  • 1,344 items Explore
  • 5 items
  • 9,540 items Explore
  • 15,849 items Explore
  • 4 items
  • 1,681 items Explore
  • 175 items
  • 41 items
  • 5,410 items Explore
  • 7,530 items Explore
  • 48 items
  • 21 items
  • 2 items
  • 59 items
  • 6,911 items Explore
  • 244 items Explore
  • 11 items
  • 4 items
  • 6 items
  • 4 items
  • 104 items Explore
  • 5 items
  • 423 items
  • 166 items Explore
  • 7,511 items Explore
  • 45 items
  • 1 items
  • 21,591 items Explore
  • 6,605 items Explore
  • 4 items
  • 2 items
  • 557 items Explore
  • 325 items
  • 2 items
  • 300 items Explore
  • 11,285 items Explore
  • 54 items
  • 16 items
  • 5 items
  • 4 items
  • 314 items Explore
  • 403 items
  • 172 items
  • 3,305 items Explore
  • 27 items
  • 1,244 items Explore
  • 2,214 items Explore
  • 718 items Explore
  • 20 items
  • 1,081 items Explore
  • 96 items Explore
  • 42 items
  • 251 items Explore
  • 58,489 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 2,628 items Explore
  • 2,596 items Explore
  • 22 items
  • 3,110 items Explore
  • 97 items Explore
  • 4 items
  • 15,345 items Explore
  • 5,119 items Explore
  • 7 items
  • 658 items Explore
  • 85 items
  • 468 items
  • 39 items
  • 72 items
  • 29 items
  • 329 items
  • 3 items
  • 42 items
  • 1,067 items Explore
  • 91 items
  • 713 items
  • 46 items
  • 8,400 items Explore
  • 25 items
  • 17 items
  • 1,038 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 52 items
  • 14,294 items Explore
  • 92 items
  • 17 items
  • 1 items
  • 2 items
  • 5 items
  • 302 items
  • 2 items
  • 547 items Explore
  • 1,641 items Explore
  • 893 items Explore
  • 2 items
  • 154 items

Select a time period

Or choose a specific year

Clear all filters

The Saltram Bureau by the 'Maître du Bureau de l’Électeur’

Master of the Prince Elector's Desk

Category

Furniture

Date

circa 1692 - 1710

Materials

Carcass of pine, oak, walnut and mahogany with polychrome marquetry in brass, tin, copper, coloured paper-backed horn, mother-of-pearl, pewter or silver, turtle shell and ebony, iron locks and brackets

Measurements

82 x 196.5 x 93 cm

Place of origin

Paris

Order this image

Collection

Saltram, Devon (Accredited Museum)

On show at

Saltram, Devon, South West, National Trust

NT 871294

Summary

A desk or bureau, Paris, circa 1692 - circa 1710, by the ‘Maître du Bureau de l’Électeur’ (the Master of the Prince Elector’s Desk). Polychrome contre-partie Boulle marquetery in bass, tin, copper, coloured paper-backed horn, mother of pearl, tortoiseshell and ebony on a carcass largely of pine, with pine and walnut. Of two banks of three drawers flanking a central frieze drawer above a kneehole. The flanking drawers each raised on four scrolling legs joined by shaped flat stretchers, on turned feet.

Full description

This impressive French bureau is part of a small group of extremely rare polychrome marquetry desks, of which similar examples are kept at the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, which was made for Elector Max II Emanuel of Bavaria (after 1692-c.1710; inv. no. 87.DA.77) and the Victoria & Albert Museum, London, which belonged to captain Charles Spencer Ricketts (c.1692-1710; inv. no. 372-1901). While the bureau has for many years been attributed to André Charles Boulle (1642-1732), it is now associated with the ‘Maître du Bureau de l’Électeur’ (the Master of the Prince Elector’s Desk, i.e. the maker of the desk at the Getty). On a carcass of primarily pine with some walnut, this desk is veneered with polychrome contre-partie ‘Boulle’ marquetry in brass, tin, copper, coloured paper-backed horn, mother-of-pearl, turtle shell and ebony. Each pedestal contains 3 drawers and is mounted on 4 legs united by carved stretchers that are connected by the top, underneath of which runs one long drawer. The panels feature arabesques and chinoiseries decorations loosely in the style of Jean Berain, although no motif derives directly from his designs and prints. The Saltram desk was made in Paris sometime between 1692 and 1710 and has been examined in great detail by Christopher Rowell in ‘Furniture History’ in 2011. He established that the bureau must have been restored in the 1880s, which obliterated much of the engraving of the top. A 1926 photograph in ‘Country Life’ shows the bureau in the Saloon at Saltram and thus ‘providing a terminus ante quem for the loss or removal of the four pendant aprons below the four sets of three flanking drawer-fronts.’ (Rowell 2011, p. 22) The desk's exact provenance remains subject to debate. It was described in a letter, franked 9 October 1811, from the Rev. Thomas Talbot (brother-in-law of John Parker, 2nd Lord Boringdon and 1st Earl of Morley (1772-1840)) to his wife in Norwich: …the Music Room, which corresponds exactly to the Velvet Room on the other side, has some good Pictures, some fine China etc, & in this room and in the library are two buhl [sic] tables… one of them belonged to Sarah Duchess of Marlborough & is the most splendid piece of furniture I ever saw in any house. In his unpublished ‘History of the Parker Family’, Albert Parker, 3rd Earl of Morley (1843-1905) amplified the provenance of the bureau: The large Buhl [sic] table in the Saloon belonged to Louis XIV. He sent it to Sarah Duchess of Marlborough whose daughter [the Duchess of Montagu] gave it to Lady Catherine Parker. It is rather unlikely that the Duchess of Marlborough, whose husband, the 1st Duke, was one of Louis XIV fiercest military enemies, would have been presented with such a lavish gift by the King of France. However, a link between the duchess and the Parker family of Saltram exists. Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough’s fourth and youngest daughter, Mary, Duchess of Montagu, was very fond of Lady Catherine, married to John Parker of Saltram in 1725. Quite apart from its lavish marquetry, the Saltram bureau was cutting edge in terms of its design. Rowell writes: ‘Despite being of the type called traditionally a bureau Mazarin, the [desk] looks forward to the early-eighteenth-century development of the bureau plat or writing table, which was intended more for the library or study than the bedroom or dressing room. Some so-called bureaux Mazarin were intended more for show than for practicality, such as the Getty bureau of Max II Emanuel, which is lower and smaller’ (Rowell 2011, p. 25). Indeed, as opposed to other desks in the ‘Bureau de l’Électeur’ group, which were intended to be placed against a wall, the Saltram bureau is decoated on all four sides.

Provenance

Possibly originally in the collection of Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough (although neither recorded in the 1719 or 1740 inventories of Blenheim Palace, nor in the 1740 inventory of Marlborough House, St James's) and by descent to her daughter Mary, Duchess of Montagu, who could have presented it to Lady Catherine Parker, wife of John Parker of Saltram. Accepted in part payment of death duties by HM Treasury from the executors of Edmund Robert Parker, 4th Earl of Morley (1877 - 1951) and on loan to the National Trust from 1957 until gifted in 1984.

Makers and roles

Master of the Prince Elector's Desk, cabinet maker

References

Rowell 2011: Christopher Rowell, 'A Louis XIV Polychrome Boulle Marquetry Bureau by the "Maître du Bureau de l’Électeur" at Saltram', Furniture History XLVII (2011): 19-46.

View more details