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Cabinet on Stand
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Attributed to André-Charles Boulle
French, Paris, about 1675 - 1680
Oak veneered with ebony, pewter, tortoiseshell, brass, ivory, horn, and various woods; with drawers of snake wood; painted and gilded wood figures; bronze mounts
7 ft. 6 1/2 in. x 4 ft. 11 1/2 in. x 2 ft. 2 1/4 in.
77.DA.1

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The decoration on this monumental cabinet refers to the French king Louis XIV's military victories. A panel of marquetry showing the cockerel of France standing triumphant over both the eagle of the Holy Roman Empire and the lion of Spain and the Spanish Netherlands decorates the central door. On the drawer above the door, gilt-bronze military trophies flank a medallion portrait of Louis XIV. In the Dutch Wars of 1672 - 1678, France fought simultaneously against the Dutch, Spanish, and Imperial armies, defeating them all. This cabinet celebrates the Treaty of Nijmegen, which concluded the war. Two large figures from Greek mythology, Hercules and Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons, representatives of strength and bravery in war, appear to support the cabinet.

The fleurs-de-lis on the top two drawers indicate that the cabinet was made for Louis XIV. As it does not appear in inventories of his possessions, it may have served as a royal gift. The Sun King's portrait appears twice on this work. The bronze medallion above the central door was cast from a medal struck in 1661 which shows the king at the age of twenty-one. Another medallion inside shows him a few years later.

The pair to this cabinet still exists in Scotland. Both cabinets probably entered England in the early nineteenth century after the French Revolution caused the dispersal of so many French collections.

Detail Views

Bird in marquetry
Bird in marquetry

Bird in marquetry
Bird in marquetry

Portrait of Louis XIV
Portrait of Louis XIV

Interior of cabinet
Interior of cabinet

Side panel
Side panel

Bird in marquetry
Bird in marquetry


Other Views

Side
Side