An important Louis XVI giltwood console table by Etienne Epaulard, stamped E. EPAULARD and inscribed in ink on the underside of the marble ‘Palais Royal de Fontainebleau’ and indistinctly numbered 2413 [?], the shaped demi-lune veined white marble top above a panelled frieze ornamented with floral and foliate sprays hung with floral and foliate swags issuing from a central ribbon-tied motif and foliate panels heading the four tapering and fluted supports joined by a serpentine X-shaped stretcher centred by a flaming urn with angular handles à la Grec from which are suspended floral and foliate swags, on acanthus-wrapped toupie feet
Paris, date circa 1780-85
Height 87 cm, width 145.5 cm, depth 51.5 cm.
Provenance probably: Palais Royal de Fontainebleau.
Rarely does one find a piece of furniture from such a fine provenance as the Palais Royal de Fontainebleau. The Château or Palais de Fontainebleau was one of the favourite royal residences that was also later enjoyed by Napoleon. The main part of this beautiful and extensive palace dates back to François I when the Renaissance king built a château modelled on the Roman and Florentine styles. In subsequent years additions were made; Louis XVI, like Louis XIV and XV undertook many renovations aimed at embellishing the apartments and through the Garde Meuble commissioned numerous artists and craftsmen to furnish the luxurious interior. Although the Château was spared during the Revolution, it was emptied of its precious furniture; it was most probably at this stage that this fine console was also removed.
The Parisian ébéniste Etienne Epaulard (1736-1803) was received as a master of his guild in October 1772 and worked from rue de Charenton and rue Saint-Bernard. Although few of his pieces are recorded Pierre Kjellberg, in “Le Mobilier Français du XVIIIe Siècle”, 1998, p. 298 notes that Epaulard was the maker of an important Louis XVI gilt bronze mounted mahogany secrétaire, which came from a collection in Espirito Santo and was sold in Paris in 1977.