Table

Object Details

Title:

Table

Artist/Maker:

Attributed to André-Charles Boulle (French, 1642 - 1732, master before 1666)

Culture:

French

Place:

Paris, France (Place created)

Date:

about 1680 - 1685

Medium:

Oak veneered with marquetry tortoise shell, pewter, brass, ebony, horn, ivory, boxwood, cherry, natural and stained sycamore, pear, thuya, satinwood, cedar, beech and amaranth; gilt-bronze mounts

Dimensions:

72.1 × 110.5 × 73.7 cm (28 3/8 × 43 1/2 × 29 in.)

See more

See less

Marquetry of extraordinary quality in wood and in tortoiseshell, brass, horn, and pewter decorates the top of this table. A band of brass surrounds a large central oval of tortoiseshell, and naturalistic flowers in wood marquetry frame the table's outer surface. Peonies, daffodils, tulips, hyacinths, and ranunculus can all be identified. The flowers are composed of small pieces of wood veneer that were assembled and then scorched with hot sand to create subtle gradations of shadow. Originally, the table would have been more vividly colored; light exposure has bleached the wood marquetry and faded the blue paint underneath the framing areas of horn to gray.

Very few pieces of furniture are veneered with two types of marquetry. A single person seems to have made all of them, including this table, as they include many comparable motifs. For example, four small birds on the top of the table are very similar to four birds found on the drawer fronts of the large Cabinet on a Stand in the Museum's collection. André-Charles Boulle, a royal cabinetmaker working at the Louvre, may have designed and executed these pieces.

Exhibitions
Louis XIV at the Getty (June 9, 2015 to July 31, 2016)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), June 9, 2015 to July 31, 2016
Bibliography

Fredericksen, Burton B., ed. The J. Paul Getty Museum: Greek and Roman Antiquities, Western European Paintings, French Decorative Arts of the Eighteenth Century (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1975), pp. 140, 146, ill.

Wilson, Gillian. "The J. Paul Getty Museum: 6ème partie: Les Meubles Baroques.'" Connaissance des Arts 279 (May 1975), pp. 108-9.

Stürmer, Michael. Handwerk und höfische Kultur: Europäische Möbelkunst im 18. Jahrhundert (Munich: Beck, 1982), pp. 35, 215, 219-21, pls. 2, 114.

Wilson, Gillian. Selections from the Decorative Arts in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1983), pp. 8-9, no. 4.

Schwartz, Marvin D. "Boulle Furniture." Art and Antiques 6 (April 1983), p. 68.

Wilson, Gillian. "A Late Seventeenth-Century French Cabinet at the J. Paul Getty Museum." The Art Institute of Chicago Centennial Lecture: Museum Studies 10 (1983), pp. figs. 10, 11, 16-19.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 1st ed. (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1986), p. 146.

Sassoon, Adrian, and Gillian Wilson. Decorative Arts: A Handbook of the Collection of the J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1986), p. 26, no. 56.

González-Palacios, Alvar. Il tempio del gusto: Le arti decorative in Italia fra classicismi e barocco: Il granducato di Toscana e gli stati settentrionali (Milan, 1986), vol. 1, p. 28 and vol. 2, pp. 52-53, fig. 54.

Pradère, Alexandre. Les ébénistes français de Louis XIV à la Révolution (Paris: Chêne, 1989), p. 108, no. 301.

Pradère, Alexandre. French Furniture Makers: The Art of the Ébéniste from Louis XIV to the Revolution (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1989), p. 108, no. 301.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 3rd ed. (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1991), p. 160.

Bremer-David, Charissa, et al. Decorative Arts: An Illustrated Summary Catalogue of the Collections of the J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1993), pp. 46-47, no. 58.

Ramond, Pierre. Chefs d'oeuvre des marqueteurs. Vol. 1, Des origines à Louis XIV (Dourdan: Éditions H. Vial, 1994), pp. 40-45.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 4th ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997), p. 188.

Masterpieces of the J. Paul Getty Museum: Decorative Arts (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997), pp. 58-59, no. 43.

Thornton, Peter. Form and Decoration: Innovation in the Decorative Arts, 1470-1870 (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1998), p. 121.

Ramond, Pierre. Masterpieces of Marquetry. Vol. 1, From the Beginnings to Louis XIV (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2000), pp. 40-43.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 6th ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2001), p. 188, ill.

Wilson, Gillian, and Catherine Hess. Summary Catalogue of European Decorative Arts in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2001), p. 32, no. 55.

Wilson, Gillian, et al. French Furniture and Gilt Bronzes: Baroque and Régence: Catalogue of the J. Paul Getty Museum Collection (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2008), pp. 112-27, no. 10.

Kopf, Silas. A Marquetry Odyssey: Historical Objects and Personal Work (Manchester, VT: Hudson Hills Press, 2008), p. 2, fig. 7.

Demetrescu, Calin. "André-Charles Boulle, illustre ébéniste de Louis XIV." Dossier d'art 224 (December 2014), p. 22, ill.

Eighteenth Century: Birth of Design: Furniture Masterpieces 1650-1790, exh. cat. (Dijon: Éditions Faton, 2014), p. 68n1.