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Stamped furniture

The compulsory stamping of furniture appeared under the reign of Louis XV in the 18th century. The stamp's purpose was to protect the master artisans' guilds and authenticate the value of furniture. A mark of authenticity signed by the cabinetmakers of the period, the stamp was composed of the initials of the JME ("Jurés – Maîtres - Ébénistes") guild, followed by those of the artist. Using a mallet, a piece was cold stamped with a single iron. Authentic, imitated or voluntarily absent as a consequence of the taxation resulting from it, the furniture stamp makes expert authentication of some 18th century furniture difficult: for value, quality, period and maker. Although the requirement to stamp furnishings was abolished during the French Revolution, numerous makers continued to stamp their pieces until the end of the 19th century.