Writing Table

secrétaire en pente

French (Paris)
about 1750
Marked by Pierre Macret (French, 1727–about 1796)


83.3 x 82.2 x 44.3 cm (32 13/16 x 32 3/8 x 17 7/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

European red, black and gold japanning on beech; interior veneered with tulipwood on oak; fruitwood drawer linings; modern green leather writing surface; gilt-bronze mounts.

Not On View




Case furniture and boxes

Red and gold imitation lacquer with gilt bronze mounts. Shaped fall front decorated with chinoiserie figures in landscapes. Side bombe panels decorated in a similar manner, bordered with black that extends down the cabriole legs. The interior is veneered with tulipwood and holly stringing and is fitted with an open compartment above a single tier of three drawers; the right drawer is fitted with three small compartments, the front of which would have contained writing materials, now missing. A slide opening in front of the drawers provides access to the well below. Green tooled leather on hinged fall front. Foliated mountings consist of four shoulder and four knee. Key plate escutcheons on apron front and rear. Four sabots. Stamped four times MACRET.


Marks stamped 4 times under side and rear rails and on underside of desk MACRET for Pierre Macret (1727 - ca. 1796)


Adrien Fauchier Magnan (b. 1873 - d. 1963), Neuilly-sur-Seine, France [see note]. By 1956, Forsyth Wickes (b. 1876 - d. 1964), New York and Newport, RI; 1965, bequest of Forsyth Wickes to the MFA. (Accession Date: December 24, 1965)

NOTE: According to handwritten notes on the reverse of a photograph taken when the table was in the Wickes collection.

Credit Line

Bequest of Forsyth Wickes—The Forsyth Wickes Collection