The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
  • Cabinet
  • René Dubois (1737 - 1798)
  • Etienne Levasseur (1721 - 1798), Marquetry on door panels
  • France
  • c. 1765
  • Oak, pinewood, ebony, brass, portor marble, gilt bronze, steel
  • Object size: 141 x 161.5 x 54.5 cm
  • Stamp: 'I. DUBOIS'
  • F384
  • Large Drawing Room
Further Reading
  • One of a pair (with F385) of cabinets veneered with ebony and figurative marquetry of brass and pewter; surmounted by a portor marble top (separable). Each door is mounted with a gilt-bronze medallion: the one on the left depicts a high priest garlanded with laurel holding his right hand over a tripod brazier, the one on the right shows a vestal similarly garlanded holding her casket over an altar. The marquetry is inlaid into the ebony veneer and depicts two trumpet-blowing figures of Fame supported by clouds and the two goddesses, Juno and Venus, in their chariots. Other gilt bronze mounts include consoles, lions' masks, bearded masks and borders of different mouldings.

    These cabinets were made by René Dubois (1737-1798), who continued using the stamp of his father, Jacques Dubois (1694-1763), after the latter's decease. Their form reflects the rather ponderous magnificence of the goût-grec fashion of the early 1760s but they have been substantially altered at least twice since their original completion. They were probably bookcases originally, with door frames filled in the centre with brass-wire mesh. The later-added door panels probably date from the early 1780s and the figurative marquetry was added later, presumably before the death of Etienne Levasseur (1721-1798) whose stamp is on the top of this cabinet. The pair to this (F385) is stamped by Philippe-Claude Montigny (1734-1800) and not Levasseur, which suggests that the alterations were carried out in separate workshops; that may explain why the figure of Venus is facing left to right on this cabinet while it is right to left on F385.