Cabinet

Maker: Attributed to André Charles Boulle (French, Paris 1642–1732 Paris)

Date: ca. 1700

Culture: French, Paris

Medium: Oak veneered with Macassar and Gabon ebony, ebonized fruitwood, burl wood, and marquetry of tortoiseshell and brass; gilt bronze

Dimensions: 91-3/4 x 48 x 19 in. (233.0 x 121.9 x 48.3 cm)

Classification: Woodwork-Furniture

Credit Line: Fletcher Fund, 1959

Accession Number: 59.108

Description

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.

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