Charles Cressent

Charles Cressent (1685-1768)
One of the finest French ébénistes, Charles Cressent was also one of the first to use elaborate gilt bronze mounts of great sculptural quality on furniture with relatively simple wood veneers, during the Regency and Rococo period.
The son of the sculptor François Cressent and the grandson of a maître ébéniste and sculpteur, in 1714 Cressent was elected a member of the Académie de Saint-Luc. Soon afterward he began working for Joseph Poitou, ébéniste to the Duke d’Orléans; in 1719 he married Poitou’s widow, subsequently inheriting the latter’s business and his title of ébéniste to the Duke. After his father’s death Cressent succeeded him as sculpteur du Roi to Louis XV. But his dual role as ébéniste and sculptor created difficulties with the guild of fondeurs and doreurs; Cressent contravened their regulations by making bronze mounts for his furniture and by supplying cases to bronziers.
Cressent’s patrons included Louis XV, King John V of Portugal, the Elector Charles Albert of Bavaria, the duke de Richelieu, the Duke d’Orléans, Mme de Pompadour, and her brother the Marquis de Marigny.
Today Cressent’s work is found in the world’s greatest collections: the Wallace Collection and Waddesdon Manor in England, the Residenz Museum in Munich, the Musée du Louvre and the Bibliothèque National in Paris.