Ferdinand Bury’s workshop was based at the top of the rue de Charonne in now 11th Arrondissement of Paris. In addition to important furniture pieces veneered in the finest mahogany and satinwood, Bury also produced a number of exquisitely refined types of furniture, such as mechanical tables, pedestal tables, storage compartments and secret boxes. It is interesting to note that he mainly employed German cabinet-makers.
Bury was probably commissioned by the famous Marchand Mercier Dominique Daguerre for his royal and noble clients. It seems that he also collaborated with Jean-Henri Riesener, since a dresser kept in the Louvre Museum, from the legacy of Count Isaac de Camondo, bears their respective stamps (illustrated in D. Alcouffe, A Dion-Tenenbaum and A. Lefebure, The furniture of the Louvre Museum, Volume 1, Dijon, 1993, p.269).
He also worked with Martin Carlin (around 1730-1785) who is another of the greatest craftsmen of Parisian furniture of the second half of the eighteenth century. In 1759 he married the younger sister of Jean-François Oeben and became master in 1766.
Through the merchants Poirier, Darnault and Daguerre, he provided some fine furniture for the royal family, especially for Marie-Antoinette, the Count and Countess of Provence, the Count of Artois and the Countess of Barry. Today, most of his pieces belong to major private and public international collections, including those of the Louvre and Nissim de Camondo museums in Paris, the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Wallace Collection in London, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum in Lisbon.
Ferdinand Bury was an extremely talented cabinet-maker whose skill and attention to detail brought him great wealth and success. His career spanned 25 years and left a reputation that still persists, and his work continues to be sought by collectors.
Oblong mahogany and bronze planter – Musée des Art Décoratifs – Paris
Small writing table Louis XVI in geometric marquetry with a light background. – Cognacq-Jay Museum – Paris
Louis XVI chest of drawers with five drawers in rosewood and gilded bronze, stamped also by Riesener – Louvre Museum
Cylinder Desk – Frame in oak, rosewood, violet wood, boxwood, ebony, gilded bronze. – Fabre Museum – Montpellier