Cabinet (Cabinet des Médailles)

Object Details

Title:

Cabinet (Cabinet des Médailles)

Artist/Maker:

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

Culture:

French

Place:

Paris, France (Place created)

Date:

about 1710 - 1715

Medium:

Oak and fir veneered with ebony, amaranth, kingwood, brass, and tortoise shell, gilt-bronze mounts; sarrancolin des Pyrénées marble top

Dimensions:

82.6 × 140.3 × 72.4 cm (32 1/2 × 55 1/4 × 28 1/2 in.)

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This cabinet originally contained twenty-four shallow drawers intended to hold coins or medals. One of a pair, its companion in the Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg, Russia, still retains its original interior fittings. At some point, the cabinet's entire interior was removed and converted into a cigar humidor.

An inventory taken in 1767 on the death of the son of Robert de Cotte, Premier Architecte to Louis XIV, king of France, describes two medal cabinets made by André-Charles Boulle, probably referring to this pair.

Apart from the masks in the center of the doors and the lions' heads on the sides, which are later replacements, all the mounts are unique to the pair. The gilt-bronze caduceus with entwined snakes, normally the symbol for medicine, is here associated with Mercury, the god of commerce--an appropriate reference for the storage-place of coins.

Provenance
-

Suzanne de Launay, French, born 1689

- 1767

and Jules-Robert de Cotte, French, 1683 - 1767 (Paris, France), inventoried after their deaths as one of a pair of medal cabinets on November 20, 1767; by inheritance to their son, Jules-François de Cotte.

1767 - 1804

Jules-François de Cotte, French, 1721 - 1810 [sold, Paris, March 8, 1804, no. 34], inventoried in his collection on May 13, 1782.

- 1911

Baron Gustave (Samuel James) Salomon de Rothschild, 1829 - 1911 (Paris, France), by inheritance to his wife.

1911 - 1912

and Baroness Cécile de Rothschild, Austrian, 1840 - 1912 (Paris, France), by inheritance to Sir Philip Sassoon.

1912 - 1939

Sir Philip Albert Gustave Sassoon, third baronet, 1888 - 1939 (London, England), by inheritance to his sister, Sybil Sassoon.

1939 - 1984

Sybil Sassoon, Marchioness of Cholmondeley, 1894 - 1989 (Houghton Hall, Norfolk, England) [sold, Christie's, London, April 12, 1984, lot 164, to the J. Paul Getty Museum]

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

Three French Reigns (Louis XIV, XV, & XVI): Loan Exhibition in Aid of the Royal Northern Hospital at 25 Park Lane, February 21st to April 5th (Inclusive) 1933, exh. cat. (London: Battley Bros., 1933), p. 72, no. 519, fig. 71.

Verlet, Pierre. French Furniture and Interior Decoration of the 18th Century. (London, 1967; English edition, originally published in French, 1966), p. 38, fig. 21.

Watson, Francis J. B. "The Marquess of Cholmondeley." In Great Family Collections. Douglas Cooper, ed. (London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1965), p. 228.

Verlet, Pierre. French Furniture and Interior Decoration of the 18th Century (London: Barrie and Rockcliffe, 1967), p. 34, fig. 21.

Davis, Frank. "Hinting at Nature." Country Life (May 24, 1984), pp. 1470-71, fig. 2.

"Acquisitions/1984." The J. Paul Getty Museum Journal 13 (1985), pp. 175-76, no. 47.

Wilson, Gillian, Charissa Bremer-David, and C. Gay Nieda. "Selected Acquisitions Made by the Department of Decorative Arts in 1984." The J. Paul Getty Museum Journal 13 (1985), pp. 67-71.

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. 4, no. 6.

Pradère, Alexandre. Les ébénistes français de Louis XIV à la Révolution (Paris: Chêne, 1989), pp. 104, 109, no. 157, fig. 65.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 3rd ed. (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1991), p. 162.

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. 16, no. 8.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 4th ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997), p. 193.

Masterpieces of the J. Paul Getty Museum: Decorative Arts (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997), p. 67, no. 49.

Thornton, Peter. Form and Decoration: Innovation in the Decorative Arts, 1470-1870 (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1998), pp . 122, 154, pl. 257.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 6th ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2001), p. 193, 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. 8, no. 8.

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. 66-75, no. 5.

Ronfort, Jean Nérée, ed. André Charles Boulle 1642-1732: Un nouveau style pour l'Europe, exh. cat. (Paris: Somogy Editions d'Art, 2009), pp. 240, 243.

Demetrescu, Calin. "André-Charles Boulle, illustre ébéniste de Louis XIV." Dossier d'art 224 (December 2014), p. 19, ill.