The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Side table
  • Side table
  • Jean-Ulric Erstet (+1780)
  • After André-Charles Boulle (1642 - 1732), a model from the workshop of
  • France
  • c. 1765
    1700-1725 (date of some of the Boulle mounts, eg. palmettes on legs)
    c.1750 (table altered, eg. fitted with two new drawers lined with padouk)
  • Walnut, oak, ebony, beech, première-partie Boulle marquetry of brass and turtleshell, gilt bronze, portor marble, mahogany and padouk wood, steel key
  • Object size: 85.9 x 104.5 x 63.5 cm
  • Stamp: 'J.U.ERSTET'
  • F426
  • East Galleries II
Further Reading
  • The revival of interest in Boulle furniture in the mid-eighteenth century meant that contemporary cabinet-makers ('ébénistes') attempted to recreate original works by André-Charles Boulle (1642-1732) or to make pieces in a similar vein, and this is one such piece. The table is close in shape to a model designed by Boulle and produced in his workshop known as a ‘table en huche’ (chest-shaped table) of which at least one example is known.

    Jean-Ulric Erstet was an ébéniste working in Paris in the Louis XV and transitional styles whose maker’s mark is stamped on this table. A mark can mean that an ébéniste has either made a piece or restored it, and although early eighteenth-century Boulle furniture was regularly restored at this time, this table appears to be original work by Erstet because of various differences in the form and quality of the decoration. However, Erstet did incorporate some early eighteenth-century gilt bronze mounts, such as the female mask on the front and the lion-paw feet on the back legs which are of higher quality and heavier than other mounts and he seems to have copied the early eighteenth-century marquetry design very closely.

    In the nineteenth century this table was altered and the present marble top was put in place, a second drawer added to the left-hand side and both drawers given padouk lining (a nineteenth-century veneer).