The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Medal cabinet
  • Medal cabinet
  • Attributed to André-Charles Boulle (1642 - 1732)
  • France
  • c. 1710 - c. 1720
  • Oak veneered with Boulle marquetry of brass and turtleshell, gilt bronze, walnut, oak, ebony, brass, velvet and steel
  • Object size: 41.2 x 34.5 x 26.5 cm
  • Label: 'HENRY J. HATFIELD / May GENERAL 1900 / Fine Art Manufacturer / AND / Renovator of Old Work, / 86, CHARLOTTE STREET, / FITZROY SQUARE, W.' Printed, 'May 1900' added in pencil
  • F20
  • Billiard Room
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Intended for storing medals, the front of this little cabinet is a hinged panel that drops down to reveal twelve drawers with brass handles, each one numbered consecutively from the top with engraved Roman numerals. The drop-front is veneered on the inside face with the marquetry pattern of the outside, but in contre-partie marquetry.
    The attribution to André-Charles Boulle (1642-1732) is based on both the quality of the elaborate scrolling marquetry and the use of the same design on other securely attributed Boulle pieces.
    Collecting medals and coins, both Antique and contemporary, was a fashionable activity in the first half of the eighteenth century. The term 'medal cabinet' normally suggests a much larger piece of furniture but ones of this size are known. It was clearly intended for use on a table top, since otherwise there is no support to stop the drop-front going beyond the horizontal position and straining its hinges.