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Part of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts
Georges Jacob (1739–1814, master 1765)
Date: ca. 1780–85Accession Number: 58.75.25
Adam Weisweiler (French, 1744–1820, master cabinetmaker 1778–after 1810)
Date: ca. 1790Accession Number: 1977.1.12
Lapidary workshop: Hôtel des Menus-Plaisirs, Versailles
Date: after 1771–72, mounts ca. 1780Accession Number: 1971.206.44
After a design by François Joseph Belanger (French, Paris 1744–1818 Paris)
Date: 1784Accession Number: 1976.227
Date: ca. 1790Accession Number: 1971.206.41
Sèvres Manufactory (French, 1740–present)
Date: 1791Accession Number: 1971.206.24
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French interiors during the final decades of the Ancien Régime (the monarchy) are legendary for their elegance and refinement. Furniture and furnishings from 1715—when the young Louis XV became king until the French Revolution in 1789—demonstrate outstanding craftsmanship and high levels of specialization, as well as the increasing demand for luxury and comfort. White and gold paneling, enlivened by mirrors, dominated the formal reception rooms of royal and aristocratic residences, where large sets of richly upholstered chairs lined the walls. Skilled craftsmen and artists embellished cabinets and desks with veneers of imported woods, gleaming Japanese lacquer, brightly colored porcelain, and splendid gilt-bronze mounts. Sets of Asian or Sèvres porcelain and elaborate clocks adorned mantelpieces and the marble tops of console tables and commodes. Flickering candlelight was reflected in the textured surfaces of gilt-bronze wall sconces and crystal chandeliers, giving these rooms great liveliness.
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