Furniture Fit for a King
What do the cabinets in your house look like? Are any of them as fancy as the one shown here? Made of ivory, brass, bronze, wood, and pewter, it is decorated with flowers, birds, plants, ribbons, eagles, and lions.
The cabinet was made more than 300 years ago in France to celebrate the victories of King Louis XIV. It has two medallions with the king's portrait—one is above the door, and a smaller one can be found inside the cabinet.
The two very strong-looking people on either side of the cabinet appear to be holding it up. They are Hercules and Hippolyta, two figures from Greek mythology.
Something this elaborate was probably made for royalty or as a royal gift. A fleur-de-lis, which looks like an iris with three petals, appears on the top two drawers. The fleur-de-lis was the emblem of the French royal family and could only be used with the permission of the king.
This kind of cabinet was often made in pairs. Today the companion for this particular cabinet is far away in a castle in Scotland.