Over four generations, this dynasty of Grenoble cabinetmakers has created unique furniture. Their fame is due to the exceptional quality of their marquetry and design, the use of indigenous and stained woods (burls, olive, sycamore, fruit woods), their inventive assemblies, and the use of new ornamental motifs. Above all, it is the perfect harmony of colours and shapes that allowed them to excel for a whole century.
The first of this dynasty, Noël HACHE (1630-1675) is the son of a master baker from Calais. He acquired a real know-how when he started his tour of France. It is very probably in Paris that he learns the technique of exotic wood veneer, where he excels. He then married ebony wood with other mainly indigenous species.
His son Thomas HACHE (1664-1747) will also be marked by his journey as a companion, probably alongside Pierre Gole, the king’s cabinetmaker established in Paris. In Chambéry, he learns the technique of Italian-style decoration, working on the interweaving of shapes and wood species. His tour de France stops in Grenoble, where he trains as a journeyman in the workshop of Michel Chevalier. After his death, he married his daughter and resumed his workshop. At that time, the city was placed under the protection of Duke Louis d’Orléans, governor of the Dauphiné, who in 1721 awarded him a cabinetmaker’s certificate and then a guard’s certificate. His clientele was then aristocratic and princely, and his trade became very well known. His furniture is rarely stamped. Among his productions are the magnificent inlaid cupboards in front of varied woods in the taste of Italy.
His only son Pierre HACHE (1703-1776) continued his father’s work, using two irons to stamp his furniture: one bearing the name Hache, the other Grenoble. The family business was flourishing: in addition to producing inlaid chests of drawers inspired by the rocaille, he sculpted the Dauphinois walnut with talent, and quickly surpassed his father’s work.
But it is Jean-François HACHE, known as the eldest (1730-1796) who will give a considerable boost to the family’s reputation until the end of the 18th century. Indeed, he will be the most famous cabinetmaker of the Grenoble dynasty. After a few months in Paris, he returned to Grenoble and continued his father’s production in his workshop on the Place Claveyson. Transforming his father’s, the stamp then changed and became “Hache fils à Grenoble”. The shapes are more slender, the chests of drawers become more supple in curves, the inlays become more geometrical, the feet end in lozenges. He mainly uses wood from the Alps, brambles and stained burls as well as walnut for the beds.
On his father’s death, he receives the company which he continues to make prosper. His production does not stop at furniture: the paper advertising label that he sticks on the bottom of drawers or under marble is proof of this.
In 1788, he retired from his business and it was his brother Christophe-André who continued the family business during the Revolution and until the beginning of the 19th century.