Friday, January 1, 1971

Etienne Avril (1748-1796)

Etienne Avril
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Etienne Avril (1748-1796) was known "Avril the Edler" to distinguish him from his broyher Pierre who was also a cabinetmaker. Received as a master in 1774, he acquired a respectable position among industrial artists during the reign of Louis XVI. As a result of his reputation, he received commissions to make furniture for the Queen at the château de Saint Cloud.
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He produced a large number of chests of drawers, console tables, bookcases, writing desks and tall chests in mahogany and wood from the Indies, as well as more unsual pieces of furniture. He did not use marquetry to a great extent, perferring the rich effects of wood, which he selected with a very refined taste.
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The most well known work bearing his stamp is a small mahogany wardrobe decorated with medallions in Sèvres biscuit. It was once part of the furniture of Marie Antoinette, and is now in the château de Fontainebleau.
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He also made pieces of furniture for the Court with panels framed by bronze strips, chests in the shape of a half-moon or with curved sides, and small bedside tables.
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There are quite a few pieces of furniture in circulation bearing the stamp of AVRIL, obviously false. These stamps were undoubtedly placed by a fraud on furniture that was made during the time of Avril but not in the manner of the master.
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Comte François de Salverte, Les ébénistes du XVIIIème siècle, Nobele-éditeur, Paris, 1962