The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
  • Cabinet
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • England
  • c. 1875
    1984 (marble top cut to resemble that of F398)
  • Pine, mahogany, première-partie Boulle marquetry in brass and turtleshell, patinated bronze, gilt bronze, marble, ebony and steel
  • Object size: 120.5 x 80 x 39.5 cm
  • F397
  • Front State Room
Further Reading
  • One of a pair of cabinets (with F398) veneered with Boulle marquetry of brass and tortoiseshell over a red ground; the marquetry is in premiere-partie on F397 and contre-partie on F398. Each cabinet has a drawer in the frieze and a cupboard below, the cupboard doors mounted with patinated bronze plaques showing light-hearted classical scenes. The sides are veneered with ebony and premiere- or contre-partie Boulle marquetry rosettes. The bases are separately constructed and are venerred wtih ebony and Boulle marquetry and gilt-bronze mounts. The marble of this cabinet was cut in London in 1984 to match that of its pair.
    The construction and materials - narrow dovetails, single-throw brass locks and relatively lavish use of mahogany inside - confirm that these cabinets are of English make and may have been bought by Sir Richard Wallace when he moved into Hertford House in 1875. They show a typical mid- to late-nineteenth-century eclecticism which combines a rectilinear Weisweiler-inspired cupboard with a bombe base. The use of a strong red pigment is also characteristic of late-nineteenth-century Boulle marquetry.
    The gilt-bronze male masks on the sides of the bases are copied from a model by Andre-Charles Boulle.