The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Toilet and writing cabinet
  • Toilet and writing cabinet
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • France
  • 1776 - 1780
  • Oak, pear wood and walnut veneered with stained sycamore, natural sycamore, tulipwood, amaranth, holly, ebony and box; Carrara marble, gilt bronze, leather, glass and wax
  • Object size: 129.4 x 66 x 45.3 cm
  • F324
  • West Gallery I
Further Reading
  • This piece of furniture, known as a bonheur-du-jour in French, combines the storage space of a toilet table with the attributes of a desk, such as shelves and a drawer that pulls out to reveal a flat leather-lined surface for writing, which turns over to reveal a mirror. The marquetry of writing materials on top of the lower section is reminscent of marquetry designs by Charles Topino (1742-1803) and by Pierre Pioniez (1730-90), but is less complicated and shows no influence from Oriental lacquer. The bonheur-du-jour was probably made by a lesser cabinet-maker than either of these two, since its standard of finish is not high. The chasing of the gilt-bronze mounts is summary.