Friday, January 1, 1971

Jean-François Oeben (b.1720 -d.1763)

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Jean-François Oeben
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Jean-François Oeben, the famous cabinetmaker of Louis XV was born around 1720 and died in Paris on January 21st, 1763.
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His vocation for artistic cabinetmaking did not prevent him from trying his hand at wood sculpture and mechanical lock making during his youth.
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He was probably living in Faubourg Saint-Antoine when he married Françoise Marguerite Vandercruse on June 29th, 1749. She was the eldest daughter of the cabinetmaker François Vandercruse, known as Lacroix. Shortly afterwoards, he joined the workshop of Joseph-Charles Boule, one of the sons of the illustrious marquetry craftsmen, who sublet part of his lodgings in Louvre galleries, and lent hil some tools and number of his models. While assisting this artist, Oeben had the freedom to produce works independently. he supplied several to the dealer Lazare Duvaux, in particular seven inlaid frames for Madame de Pompadour; This was his first work for the King's Favourire who would soon become his loyal client.
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Following a recommendation by Marigny, he obtained a post as cabinetmaker to the King at the Manufacture des Gobelins. he specialized in making armoires to hold collections. He hired the most skilful crasftsmen available. With Riesner, his pupil and successor, he brought the cabinetmaker Leleu into his workshop and also used the talent of Carlin.
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On his death in 1763, Riesener became head of the workshop by marying Oeben's widow. As a result, many pieces of cabinetwork marked with the name of J.F. Oeben should, in fact, be attributed to his illustrious pupil 
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Comte François de Salverte, Les ébénistes du XVIIIe siècle, Edition Nobele, Paris, 1965