The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
  • Wardrobe
  • Attributed to André-Charles Boulle (1642 - 1732)
  • France
  • c. 1700
  • Oak, première- and contre-partie Boulle marquetry of brass and turtle-shell, marquetry (inside doors) of ebony, amaranth and pewter, gilt bronze, steel locks, hinges and key
  • Object size: 255 x 162.7 x 61 cm
  • Stamp: Crowned 'C'
  • F62
  • Large Drawing Room
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • This grand wardrobe is similar to another in the Wallace Collection (F61) . The main purpose of the piece was for display, but it was also fitted with shelves for storage purposes. The figurative, gilt-bronze mounts on the centre of the doors represent Apollo and Daphne and Apollo flaying Marsyas, mythological stories derived from Ovid’s Metamorphoses. Boulle himself was a compulsive collector and owned a series of drawings after the Metamorphoses by Raphael, destroyed in his workshop fire of 1720.
    In a declaration of 1700 Boulle declared that he had nine wardrobes in his workshop, so it is likely that the production of such pieces was quite considerable.
    Many of the mounts are stamped with the 'crowned C' mark which was used on gilt-bronze sold in France between 1745-9 to denote the payment of a tax on copper. We do not know when it was acquired by the 4th Marquess of Hertford, but it is likely to have been in England as he kept the wardrobe in Hertford House.

    Oak veneered with ebony and marquetry of brass and turtleshell. The gilt-bronze mounts on the doors show scenes after the Roman writer Ovid’s Metamorphoses: on the left, Apollo chasing Daphne, and on the right, Apollo watching the flaying of the satyr Marsyas.