Armoire

Attributed to Nicolas Sageot (1666-1731), master cabinetmaker in 1706
Paris, c. 1710
Carcase of oak; contrepartie marquetry of tortoiseshell on a brass ground
Bequest of Albert Bichet, 1920
Inv. 21919
© Les Arts Décoratifs

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The cabinetmaker Nicolas Sageot, who specialized in copper and tortoiseshell marquetry, ran a prosperous workshop on Grande Rue du Faubourg Saint-Antoine. His work has sometimes been confused with that of André-Charles Boulle; the latter’s influence is perceptible in the use of brown rather than red tortoiseshell and of gilt bronze in high relief, but Sageot’s work is distinguishable by its more cursory construction and less complex design. Marquetry followed the stylistic developments of the early eighteenth century, particularly as regards the gradual abandonment of Bérain-style figurative decoration in favor of more abstract compositions with scrolls. We know the name of one of the marquetry specialists who worked for Sageot: Toussaint Devoye, who also worked for other cabinetmakers, as was the practice at the time.

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