An important French Louis XVI period, tric trac table of mahogany and mahogany veneer stamped, “BENEMAN”, by its maker, Guillaume Beneman. Each angle of the table frieze has small rows of gilt bronze. The edge of the removable top is banded with gilt bronze slightly lower on one side for the top to be used as a writing surface. The reverse side of the top has green felt used as a playing surface. The well of the table reveals a beautiful backgammon game board with inlaid ivory and tinted ivory. There are two drawers on opposite sides of the piece for the storage of the ivory game pieces. The table rests on four tapered legs ending with gilt bronze.
Guillaume Beneman (1750-1811) was one of the last great cabinetmakers of the 18th century. He was of German origin and left Germany late in life. In 1784, he was commissioned to furnish some pieces that were intended for use in the royal houses. (Henri Riesener who was the principal supplier had fallen out of favor to the court due to excesses.) Beneman was awarded all rights and privileges of the cabinetmakers guild in August 1785 and was accepted as a master on Sept. 3. Beneman, who earned the title, “Cabinetmaker to the King”, worked for the court until the fall of the monarchy. He continued to work during the terror to supply modest pieces for the officials at the Concièrgerie. Beneman’s career ended soon after the Napoléonic period began.
Vetted Antique Shows/Fairs
The International Fine Art and Antique Dealers Show, New York, NY, 2008
Acquired in 1936 by the grandparents of Etienne and Pierre Lévy, Antiquaires à Paris
Mary Helen McCoy Fine Antiques, Memphis, Tennessee