The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
  • Cabinet
  • Weisweiler Adam (1744 - 1820)
  • France
  • c. 1780
  • Oak, pinewood, ebony, contre-partie Boulle marquetry of turtleshell, brass and tin, gilt bronze, portor marble, horn, brass and steel
  • Object size: 106.5 x 78.3 x 42.3 cm
  • Stamp: 'A. WEIS'
    Inscription: '1291(a)' In chalk
  • F394
  • Great Gallery
Further Reading
  • A pair with F393, this cabinet, or 'meuble a hauteur d'appui', is by the ebeniste Adam Weisweiler (1744-1820, maitre 1778) and is a reflection of the appetite for Boulle furniture in Franceh in the last thirty years of the eighteenth century.
    The form derives from a type of cabinet by André-Charles Boulle that was originally intended to be placed on a console stand; but by this stage of the eighteenth century the lower height was favoured and this type of 'meuble a hauteur d'appui' has integral legs. Boulle's legacy is, however, further apparent on these cabinets with the re-use by Weisweiler of old Boulle metal marquetry panels, two either side of the main front panel on each cabinet.
    The gilt-bronze mount on F394 is of the figure Hiems (representing Winter) and is also found on various other pieces of furniture in the Wallace Collection: on the left sides of two armoires (F61 and F62) and the right door of F383. While the armoires are firmly attributed to Andre-Charles Boulle, F383 is a break-front cabinet by Joseph Baumhauer dating from about 1770. This clearly demonstrates the continued use of Boulle-designed mounts long after the ébéniste's death; dealers like Claude-Francois Julliot (1727-94) specialised in contemporary Boulle furniture which utilised mounts cast from mouldings taken from early eighteenth-century pieces. Weisweiler is likely to have had the mounts - as well as the old Boulle panels - supplied by the dealer for whom this piece was commissioned, probably Julliot for whom we know Weisweiler worked. However, Boulle-style cabinets like this formed only a small part of Weisweiler's oeuvre and are relatively rare.