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Today I am offering you a spectacular Empire period cylinder desk stamped by Jean Joseph CHAPUIS, the rarity of which is equal to what, for me, characterizes the finest achievements under the Empire: Power and Elegance.

But before describing this exceptional piece of furniture to you, I would like to dwell on what seems to be one of the biggest mistakes in the history of Estampilles!

Indeed, even today, it is not uncommon to see that a number of "renowned" antique dealers and other auction houses (including Sotheby's) continue to perpetuate an error dating back to the beginning of the 19th century. It concerns the name of CHAPUIS.

Take a look, for example, at this beautiful piece of furniture sold in 2015 by Sotheby's:

We are still talking here about a piece of furniture sold for more than 43,000 €! A simple little documentation rather than a "copy and paste", would have been appropriate.

You have surely seen this stamp before, and sometimes it is defined as being the signature of Claude CHAPUIS. This is the serious error! This namesake was a furniture dealer under the Empire. And not a cabinetmaker!

This bad association began at the end of the 18th century, and Claude Chapuis (the furniture merchant) greatly benefited from this attribution which fell from the sky to increase his turnover tenfold.

I remind you that only obtaining a master's degree in cabinetmaking allowed you to acquire the right to affix your stamp.

Only Jean Joseph CHAPUIS was a Master Cabinetmaker!

Only Jean Joseph Chapuis could stamp his furniture.

This means that ALL FURNITURE bearing the CHAPUIS stamp, are only by Jean Joseph CHAPUIS.

It is also funny that some even lend Claude (the furniture dealer) a master's degree in cabinetmaking. Which is none other than the date on which Jean Joseph CHAPUIS became Master Cabinetmaker in Paris, in September 1791 at only 26 years old.

JEAN JOSEPH CHAPUIS is the greatest Belgian cabinetmaker in history, born in Brussels in 1765, he came to Paris very early to be trained in French cabinetmaking. Considered by his Masters as a gifted artist, he obtained the title of Master Cabinetmaker in September 1791, at the age of only 26, then returned to his country to set up his workshop on rue de Borgval then rue de Loxum.

In addition to multiple orders to France and Europe, he becomes Supplier of the Royal Palace of Laeken.

In 1805, he was even commissioned to carry out an inventory of furniture in Schonenberg Castle in Laeken.

Listed in the Almanach du Commerce until 1824, it carried out its activity until 1830.

He is often compared to a very great French bronzier, giving him the nickname "Claude Galle of cabinetmakers".


The laurels returned to Caesar, I can now tell you about this magnificent office:

Like the vast majority of furniture from the Empire period, this desk is in mahogany and mahogany veneer. You can notice on the cylinder part (when the desk is closed) a beautiful flamed mahogany and beautiful lion head pull handles in gilded and chiseled bronze holding a ring in their muzzle. It is capped with a gray marble tablet turquin and rests on pilaster feet. The two front feet reveal busts of caryatids on sheaths terminated by elegant female feet. These decorative elements are in bronze with a brown patina and of remarkable finesse in their carving. Under each bust of a caryatid, as a belt, comes a Greek-style frieze in chiseled and gilded bronze, finely chiseled, followed by a large motif of foliage, acanthus leaves, lotus flower and palmette. It comes with three drawers in the belt in its upper part, six small drawers inside and four drawers in the lower part, of which the left one forms only one.

Once the cylinder is open, the desk top expands by sliding it towards you. A zipper slides on each side and adds additional space to the desk. The top and the zippers are decorated with a beautiful fawn-colored leather, framed by a border of gold foliage.

All these details form a set of remarkable execution and bring together the strong decorative elements of the Empire period.

CHAPUIS: Exceptional stamped cylinder desk, Empire period.

  • Dimensions

    Height: 127cm

    Width: 142cm

    Depth: 66cm

  • Delivery

    I manage the delivery for you in France as well as internationally. For delivery outside of Europe, contact me to establish one or more quotes.
    I make sure that particular care is taken for packaging and protection adapted to your purchases.

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