This secrétaire à doucine has been manufactured by François Bayer, who became Maître in 1764. François Bayer was famous for his marquetery inlayed furniture and has produced multiple elegant desks and dressing tables. This secrétaire is called à doucine, because of its shape. Doucine is the French word for the ogee shape: a double curve that results in a s-form.
Parquetery is a geometric mosaic of wood pieces used for decorative effect. The two main uses of parquetery are as veneer patterns on furniture and block patterns for flooring. Parquet patterns are entirely geometrical and angular - squares, triangles and lozenges. The word derives from the Old French parchet - the diminutive of parc -, literally meaning 'a small enclosed space'. Large diagonal squares known as parquet de Versailles were introduced in 1684 as parquet de menuiserie to replace the marble flooring that required constant washing.
This secrétaire has been stamped F-Bayer, ME, and stamped by the St. Josef Guild Amsterdam.