The J. Paul Getty Museum

Cabinet (one of a pair)

Object Details


Cabinet (one of a pair)


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


French (cabinet); Italian (pietra dure)


Italy; Paris, France (Place Created)


about 1808; pietra dura plaque mid-17th–late 18th century


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

Object Number:



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

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Object Description

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.

1808 - 1852

Alexander Archibald Douglas, tenth duke of Hamilton and seventh duke of Brandon, Scottish, 1767 - 1852 (Hamilton Place, Lanarkshire, Scotland), 76.DA.9.1-2: purchased in Saint Petersburg as one of a pair at the cost of 6,000 rubles; by descent to his son, William Alexander Douglas, eleventh duke of Hamilton and eighth duke of Brandon.
Source: the pair of cabinets was displayed in the old state dining room from some point after 1813 and before 1825. Information courtesy of Dr. Godfrey Evans, Director of the Virtual Hamilton Palace Trust.

1852 - 1863

William Alexander Archibald Douglas, eleventh duke of Hamilton and eighth duke of Brandon, Scottish, 1811 - 1863 (Hamilton Palace, Lanarkshire, Scotland), by inheritance to his son, William Alexander Louis Stephen Douglas-Hamilton, twelfth duke of Hamilton and ninth duke of Brandon.

1863 - 1882

William Alexander Louis Stephen Douglas-Hamilton, twelfth duke of Hamilton and ninth duke of Brandon, English, 1845 - 1895 (Hamilton Place, Lanarkshire, Scotland) [sold, Christie's, London, June 19, 1882, lot 185 or 186]

- 1885

Christopher Beckett-Denison, English, 1825 - 1884 (London, England) [76.DA.9.2: sold, Christie's, London, June 6, 1885, lot 818, to Donaldson for 205 guineas]

after 1918

Moss Harris & Sons (London, England), sold to Sita Devi, Maharani of Baroda.
Source: Correspondence from Theodore Dell to J. Paul Getty in the file of the J. Paul Getty Museum, Department of Sculpture and Decorative Arts.

- 1973

Sita Devi, Maharani of Baroda, Indian, 1917 - 1989 (Paris, France; Monte Carlo, Monaco) [76.DA.9.2: sold, Palais Galliera, Paris, November 29, 1973, no. 114 B]

- 1976

Aveline & Co. (Paris, France), sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1976.


Wilson, Gillian. Decorative Arts in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1977), p. 95, no. 122.

Fredericksen, Burton B., Jiří Frel, and Gillian Wilson. Guidebook: The J. Paul Getty Museum. 4th ed. Sandra Morgan, ed. (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1978), p. 113.

Kjellberg, Pierre. Le Mobilier français du XVIIIe siècle: Dictionnaire des ébénistes et des menuisiers (Paris: Éditions de l'Amateur, 1989), p. 872.

Gonzalez-Palacios, Alvar. "vecchio barocco & nuovo classicismo." Casa vogue antiques 13, no. 13 (May 1991), p. 77, 79.

Giusti, Anna Maria. Pietre Dure: Hardstone in Furniture and Decorations (London: Philip Wilson, 1992), p. 218, fig. 75.

Freyberger, Ronald. "The Duke of Hamilton's Porphyry Tables." The Magazine Antiques 144, no. 3 (September 1993), pp. 351, 354, fig. 9.

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), p. 22, no. 18.

Ramond, Pierre. Chefs d'oeuvre des marqueteurs. Vol. 1, Des origines à Louis XIV (Dourdan: Éditions H. Vial, 1994), p. 68, 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), pp.11-12, no. 18.

Hall, Michael. "A 'splendid and probably Unique Pebble': the Benetier de Charlemagne.'" The Burlington Magazine 154, no. 1311 (June 2012), p. 390.