Paris, circa 1770-1780
Made by Sulpice Brizard (c. 1735-after 1799)
Stamped: S. BRIZARD
Provenance: Countess Ruth Costantino, New York; Count A.G. Costantino, Washington
Literature: R.T. Costantino, How to Know French Antiques, New York, 1961, p. 83.
Sulpice Brizard received his maitrise in 1762. He married Marie-Genevieve Meunier (1734-1796), daughter of a joiner, and as a master's son-in-law was admitted as a maitre menuisier in November or December of 1761; at the time, he lived on the Rue de Bourbon. On December 11, he purchased the stock of the recently deceased joiner Francois Foliot for 3130 livres, and rented his workshop for 220 livres. This workshop, Au Duc de Bretagne, was situated on the Rue de Clery. He registered his maitrise officially on 13 February 1762 and began business. In 1799, he was still working at 262 Rue de Clery. We know that he worked with the carver Francois-Marie Chaillou, but nothing is known regarding his clientele. He is reputed to have been one of the chief suppliers of seat furniture to the Court during the early years of the reign of Louis XVI. Another joiner, Pierre Brizard (1737-1804), presumably his brother, was admitted as master in 1772. Sulpice Brizard made seats in the Louis XV, Transitional, and Louis XVI styles. It was, however, during the latter period that he distinguished himself; he produced seat furniture of exceptional quality, his seats almost always had original proportions and delicate but vigorous carving. His work can be seen in the following collections: the Musees des Arts Decoratifs, Carnavalet, du Louvre, and Mobilier National in Paris. The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York has a fine oval-backed, gilded canape signed by this master, made in co-operation with the cabinetmaker Louis Delanois, who furnished the rest of the same set, all of which was, incidentally, sold to the museum by our gallery.