Two Coffers on Stands

Object Details

Title:

Two Coffers on Stands

Artist/Maker(s):

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

Culture:

French

Date:

about 1684 - 1689

Medium:

Oak, cypress, and walnut veneered with tortoise shell, blue-painted horn, ebony, padouk, rosewood, pewter, and brass; gilt-bronze mounts; mirror glass

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Intended to hold jewels or small precious items, the interiors of this pair of coffers are lined with tortoiseshell and brass or pewter, with secret compartments in the base. The coffers are each decorated using techniques known as première partie marquetry, a pattern of brass and pewter on a tortoiseshell ground, and its reverse, contrepartie, a tortoiseshell pattern on a background of pewter and brass.When lowered on their hinges, the wide gilt bronze straps on the coffer fronts and sides reveal three small drawers for rings. Each coffer also has a lid that opens in two sections. The upper lid reveals a shallow compartment, while the main lid lifts to reveal the interior of the coffer.

The 1689 inventory of the Grand Dauphin, the oldest son of Louis XIV, lists a jewel coffer of similar form and decoration; according to this inventory, André-Charles Boulle made the coffer. The two stands are of the same date as the coffers, but were originally designed to hold rectangular cabinets. One stand was adapted in the late 1700s or early 1800s to make it the same height as the other.

Related Works
Bibliography

Reitlinger, Gerald. The Economics of Taste (New York, 1963), vol. 2, p. 415.

"Acquisitions/1982." The J. Paul Getty Museum Journal 11 (1983), pp. 13-18, no. 1.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 1st ed. (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1986), p. 143.

Sassoon, Adrian, and Gillian Wilson. Decorative Arts: A Handbook of the Collection of the J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1986), pp. 3-4, no. 5.

Jackson-Stops, Gervase. "Boulle by the Beach, Decorative Arts at the J. Paul Getty Museum." Country Life 179 (April 3, 1986), pp. 854-56.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 3rd ed. (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1991), p. 157.

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. 13-14, no. 4.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 4th ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997), p. 189.

Masterpieces of the J. Paul Getty Museum: Decorative Arts (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997), p. 56, no. 41.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 6th ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2001), p. 189, 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. 3, no. 4.

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. 50-65, no. 4.