Mathieu Deldicque, Lead Heritage Conservator, Director of the Condé museum
One of the most celebrated pieces of 18th-century French furniture
The desk and file-case (cartonnier) belonging to Ange-Laurent Lalive de Jully, Introducer of Ambassadors at the Court of Versailles, is one of the most celebrated pieces of 18th-century French furniture. Made by cabinetmaker Joseph Baumhauer and bronzesmith Philippe Caffieri to designs by Louis-Joseph Le Lorrain, it marks a change in taste and period and adopts for the first time a design and decorations inspired by antiquity, particularly the excavations of Pompeii and Herculaneum.
It was recently restored by C2RMF with the support of the Friends of the Condé Museum. This restoration coincides with the recent sale of an unusual shell cabinet (coquillier) that would also have been among the pieces found in the cabinet of Lalive de Jully. The file-case cabinet and shell cabinet are presented together for the first time since the sale of 1770. This exceptional display coincides with the publication of a reference work on the patronage of Lalive de Jully.