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Chest of drawers
  • Date: About 1695
  • Medium: Oak, première-partie Boulle marquetry of brass and turtleshell, walnut, gilt bronze, lumachella marble, pine, brass and steel
  • Object size: 87.5 x 132 x 63.5 cm
  • Inv: F405
  • Location: Great Gallery
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Further Reading
  • This magnificent sarcophagus-shaped chest of drawers (called a 'commode') is characteristic of the grandest furniture of the late 17th century, with its première-partie Boulle marquetry and imposing gilt-bronze mounts. The turtleshell in the marquetry decoration has been veneered over a red ground, which gives the piece its strong red colour. The chest of drawers is attributed to Oppenordt on the grounds that the cabinetmaker is known to have cooperated with Jean Berain (1640–1711), after whose designs the shape and decoration of the piece is taken.

    Oppenordt was of Dutch origin but was working in Paris some time before 1679, when he received letters of naturalisation. He worked for the royal Gobelins Manufactory and in 1684 was given lodgings in the Louvre. He supplied Louis XIV and his court with furniture and marquetry floors; similar brass bandings and stringings as those on the chest of drawers are found on the floor of a coach commisioned for the Swedish king in 1696 and made by Oppenordt.

    The chest of drawers was made with its pair, which is veneered with 'contre-partie' decoration. Both pieces had marble tops added in the 19th century to replace the original marquetry finish, most probably by the London dealer Edward Holmes Baldock, whose stamp can be found on the back of F405.