The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
  • Pedestal
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • France
  • c. 1765 - c. 1770
  • Oak, ebony, première-partie Boulle marquetry of brass and turtleshell and gilt bronze
  • Object size: 121.6 x 34.3 x 25.4 cm
  • F420
  • Front State Room
Further Reading
  • With its neo-classical references and architectural form, this pedestal and its pair (F419) would appear to date from the late 1760s when French taste had moved away from the rococo to embrace the inspiration of the Antique, specifically the architecture of Rome and ancient Greece. Ionic pilasters are found in French interior decroation schemes from the late 1750s and 1760s, and were also adopted as motifs for furniture. An example of the use of Ionic pilasters in veneered furniture is the cabinet of c. 1765 by Joseph Baumhauer (d. 1772) in the J. Paul Getty Museum, where they are applied to the front and back corners. Boulle marquetry was also popular at this period, as were gilt-bronze military trophies which echo those of the Louis XIV period but were updated by the likes of the architect Claude-Nicolas Ledoux (1736-1806) in work by him dating from the mid-1760s. The whole effect of these pedestals is thus one of looking back not only to ancient Rome but also to the achievements of Louis XIV.
    However, the mounts at the centre of the front of these pedestals have a distinctly revolutionary feel to them, with axes emerging from the top of the trophies, and it may be that these were added later.