Cabinet (one of a pair)

Object Details


Cabinet (one of a pair)


Attributed to Adam Weisweiler (French, 1744 - 1820, master 1778)


French and Italian


Italy Paris France (Place created)


about 1810; pietra dura plaque mid-17th - late 18th century


Oak, pine and beech veneered with ebony and mahogany; pewter stringing; set with pietra dura plaques and micromosaic roundels; gilt-bronze mounts; portor d'Italie marble top


101.6 x 150.2 x 54.6 cm (40 x 59 1/8 x 21 1/2 in.)

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The pietre dure (hardstone) plaques on this cabinet date from the late 1700s; they were probably made by Italian craftsmen and brought home as souvenirs by Northern European tourists. Connoisseurs appreciated the variety and rarity of the stones and artisans' skillful arrangement of them into mosaic and relief designs. Because of their value and popularity with collectors, such plaques were sometimes mounted into specially made and suitably grand cabinets.

The catalogues of two sales held during the French Revolution describe the pair of this cabinet, made about twenty years earlier. William Beckford, a wealthy English connoisseur of hardstones, probably purchased the other cabinet late in the 1700s. He may have ordered this cabinet to be made with identical gilt bronze mounts and dimensions to match the earlier one.