Armoire, ca. 1710
Attributed to André–Charles Boulle (French, 1642–1732)
Tortoiseshell, engraved brass, and ebony on oak; gilt–bronze; H. 7 ft. 8 in. (234 cm)
Fletcher Fund, 1959 (59.108)
Attributed to André-Charles Boulle, the preeminent cabinetmaker under Louis XIV, the armoire has marquetry decoration in a combination of première partie (a tortoiseshell ground inlaid with brass) and contre partie (a brass ground inlaid with tortoiseshell). The masks of the mythological wind gods at the corners of the door panels may have been added at a later date. The interiors of armoires were provided with fixed shelves and sliding drawers not necessarily intended for storage of clothes or linens. Sometimes they held books and prints, silver plate, or other valued possessions that could be displayed when the doors were opened. This armoire has the vestiges of three shelves.