The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
  • Cabinet
  • Probably Joseph Baumhauer (died 1772)
  • France and England
  • c. 1765 - c. 1770
    early 19th century (Internal alterations including drawers)
  • Oak veneered with ebony and contre-partie Boulle marquetry of turtleshell and brass, gilt bronze, gilt brass, walnut, amaranth, pinewood (partly stained), bleu turquin marble, steel
  • Object size: 98.5 x 132.2 x 49.7 cm
  • Stamp: 'JOSEPH' (between fleurs-de-lis)
  • F383
  • Hall
Further Reading
  • A rectangular, break-fronted cabinet veneered with ebony and contre-partie Boulle marquetry and mounted with gilt bronze. The front is divided into three panels corresponding to the doors of the three cupboards behind. There are three gilt bronze figurative reliefs on the front depicting Bacchus, the Flaying of Marsyas and Ceres and on the sides Flora and Hiems. The top is of bleu turquin marble.

    This cabinet bears the stamp 'JOSEPH', the mark of Joseph Baumhauer (d. 1772), a Parisian cabinet-maker who seems to have sold his furniture mostly through dealers (marchands-merciers). His work developed from a more sober rococo in the 1750s to an academic neo-classicism in the 1770s and it is from this later period of his career that this cabinet belongs, with its architectural rectangularity and its Vitruvian scroll mount, a characteristic ornament of early French neo-classicism. It was originally supplied to the marchand mercier Claude-François Julliot with its companion in première-partie marquetry which is now in a private collection. The figurative mounts on the front and sides are cast from mouldings taken from mounts on furniture by André-Charles Boulle (1642-1732), the buying of which was one of Julliot's specialities. This cabinet is thus a fine example of the re-interpretation of Boulle furniture in terms of early French neo-classicism.