The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
  • Corner-cupboard
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • France
  • c. 1760
  • Oak, pine, veneered with Chinese lacquer and lacquered black with French vernis, ebony and ebonised soft wood veneers on the legs, brèche d'Alep marble, gilt bronze and ebony
  • Object size: 86.7 x 74.5 x 55.5 cm
  • F99
  • Small Drawing Room
Further Reading
  • This corner cupboard reflects the taste for lacquer-mounted furniture that became fashionable in the 1740s and 1750s. Essentially an entirely French object, in both form and decoration, it incorporates a piece of eighteenth-century Chinese lacquer that was most probably taken from a screen. The overall effect is one of 'chinoiserie', in other words a piece of furniture that evoked the exotic world of the Orient but which was never anything other than French. The stunning and lavish gilt-bronze mounts, incorporating rococo curves that amplify the curved design of the cupboard and also a figurative mask of Bacchus, make this cupboard an interesting mix of stylistic elements.
    There is no maker's stamp, but on the basis of similarities with other corner cupboards it may be compared to work by Jacques Dubois. It is likely that it would have been sold through a marchand mercier, or dealer; they often sold unstamped pieces by the best Parisian craftsmen, perhaps to prevent clients going direct to the maker.