- French (Paris), ca. 1750
- By Bernard II van Risenburgh (French, after 1696–ca. 1766, master before 1730)
- White oak* veneered with bloodwood*, amaranth*, and cherry* and restorations in hornbeam* and Spanish cedar;* modern wire mesh screens; gilt bronze mounts; brass and iron hardware and locks
- H: 4 ft. 10 5/8 in., W: 3 ft. 3 3/4 in., D: 1 ft. 7 in. (149 × 101 × 48.3 cm)
The pair of rectangular straight-sided cabinets have rounded forecorners and stand on short legs. Each is fitted with two pairs of doors, separated by a manually operated sliding shelf. The upper doors are set with panels of wire mesh, and the interior of that section contains a fixed shelf. The interior of the lower section contains two adjustable shelves (fig. 2-1). The cabinets are identical; a description of one will suffice.
The top of the cabinet, below a short, concave cornice is mounted along the front and sides with a broad gilt bronze molding. It is cast with alternating motifs of cabochons, gadroons, and darts. At the center front the molding is clasped by a mount composed of leafy C-scrolls centered by a sweeping shell-like form that is set below another C-scroll, topped by a leafy bud.
The upper forecorners are set with pierced mounts composed of three pairs of C-scrolls. The upper pair flank an elongated oval cabochon that is surrounded by auricular work. Above, small leafy scrolls support a spray of leaves. The middle pair of C-scrolls are addorsed. They enclose an inverted corolla from which depend two leafy buds. The outer edges of the C-scrolls are set with auricular flame work that descends to form a tonguelike shape below, flanked by the lowest pair of C-scrolls edged with leafy borders. The corner mounts terminate in an arrangement of leaves.
The rounded corners of the cabinet are recessed and framed by a stepped plain gilt bronze molding that is shaped above and below. The lower forecorners of the cabinet are set with pierced mounts formed by apposed and crossing C-scrolls supporting a leafy bud above and a fan of leaves surrounding a cabochon below, ending in a pendant bud that overhangs the tip of the large pierced foot mount below. The latter is composed of two large C-scrolls. They are set with shell-like borders and enclose a whorl of leaves centered by a bud from which emerges a leafy stem that rises to contact the mount above. The upper part of the mount is composed of leafy and ribbed scrolls.
The wire-filled mesh openings of the upper doors are fitted with gilt bronze frames. Of asymmetrical design, they are composed of leafy C- and S-scrolls edged with flame work. Above, at the center, is a large curved cabochon surrounded by a tongue of flame work. At the center below is a short arrangement of leaves above an apron of flame work bordered on its edge by further small C- and S-scrolls. The two frames are mirror images of each other. Between them runs a vertical mount that is attached to the shaped edge of the right-hand door. It is centered by a keyhole that pierces the bowl of an open shell. This is clasped by a C-scroll that carries a flame work border that descends to form a curving tail and ascends to clasp the end of the rising elongated C-scroll. It is fitted at its center with an elongated curved cabochon. The upper end of this vertical mount is set with a feather, and at the base, with rushes.
The front edge of the sliding shelf below the upper doors (fig. 2-2) is set with a gilt bronze guilloche molding, containing alternating rosettes and cabochons. The doors below are set with gilt bronze rectangular frames, each formed by a simple continuous flat molding centered by a stippled band. The four rounded corners are overlaid with mounts centered by cabochons, surrounded by auricular shellwork that extends to form “wings” on either side.
Asymmetrical mounts are set at the middle of the inside edges of the frames. The mount on the right is pierced with a keyhole. Between an S-scroll and a leafy C-scroll is a cartilaginous whorl framed by flame work that extends to form a tail. Leaves emerge at the juncture of the C-scroll with the flame work, while the S-scroll is rimmed with cartilaginous waves. A straight vertical mount with a stippled center is attached to the edge of the right-hand door. The horizontal front and sides of the upper edge of the base are set with a broad molding composed of strapwork and leafy buds on a diapered ground. The lower profile at the front is set with short scrolled mounts, bearing leaves centered by an apron mount in the form of an arching C-scroll supporting smaller C-scrolls and topped by a short curled leaf. The mounts set along the inner profile of the short legs take the form of leafy scrolls enclosing a small pierced area of shellwork.
The cabinet is veneered with amaranth on the top, front, sliding shelf, and sides (fig. 2-3). The shelf is also decorated with double frames of bloodwood. Frames of similar shape are found on the fronts of the lower doors and on the lower halves of the sides. Above, in that area, is a large shaped frame of bloodwood. The interior of the upper section of the cabinet has been varnished reddish-brown. The edge of the single fixed shelf is veneered with amaranth. The interior surfaces of the upper doors are veneered with cherry. A shaped flat molding of cherry is held in place by screws. Its removal gives access to the edge of the metal mesh. The interior of the lower section is of plain varnished white oak. The edges of the two removable shelves are veneered with amaranth. The inner surfaces of the doors are veneered with cherry and further decorated with a frame of amaranth.
The cabinets are both stamped “B.V.R.B.” for Bernard II van Risenburgh.1 Although their design is unique in Van Risenburgh’s oeuvre, a number of the gilt bronze mounts are of the same model as examples found on other pieces stamped with his initials. The large central mount clasping the upper molding is found in the same position on the large circa 1755 armoire veneered with panels of Chinese red lacquer, from the collection of Jean-Baptiste de Machault d’Arnouville and now at Versailles (see fig. 1-6).2 It is also seen on the tall secrétaire bibliothèque that was delivered to the Grand Trianon in 1755 (fig. 2-6).3 The upper corner mounts on the Museum’s cabinets are of the same model as those found on the bout de bureau at the State Hermitage Museum (fig. 15-6)4 that are marked with the crowned C.5 The pierced mounts above those on the feet of the Museum’s cabinets are also found in a similar position on the long cabinet in the Museum that is firmly attributed to this master (see cat. no. 1). Small, pierced S-shaped mounts outlining the inner profile of the short legs are also included as part of a framing mount on the doors of a pair of corner cupboards at the Walters Art Museum that also carry on their upper corners pierced mounts centered by cabochons of the same model as those repeated six times on the Museum’s long cabinet, mentioned above.6 These small, pierced mounts also appear at the lower corners of the outer framing mount of a lacquer commode attributed to Van Risenburgh in the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Legion of Honor.7 The attribution of the Museum’s cabinets to Van Risenburgh is strengthened by the presence of a mount of semicircular form centering the apron of the commode. It is of the same model as that found at the center of the plinth of the display cabinets.
Returning to the Museum’s cabinets, one-half of the frames of the upper doors surrounding the asymmetrically shaped open area are of the same model as those arranged to form both sides of the frames found surrounding marquetry panels on the front of a cabinet (meuble d’entre-deux) that was sold by the descendants of Jean-Baptiste de Machault d’Arnouville in 1989.8 This cabinet is stamped “B.V.R.B.,” and its mounts are struck with the crowned C.
The Museum’s cabinets appear to have been intended to store objets de curiosité of some type. They are too deep to be used as bookcases. The sliding shelves are embellished with marquetry rather than leather or velvet, both of which are more typical conceits for surfaces used to support books. The mounts forming the keyhole escutcheons for the doors above and below are in the form of shells and unique to these pieces. They perhaps indicate that the shelves behind the wire mesh were intended to hold shells. Whatever their purpose, the cabinets were certainly made for an extremely wealthy patron and likely eager participant in the Enlightenment.
The linear marquetry on the lower doors and the sides of the cabinets is not found on any other piece of ébénisterie made by Van Risenburgh. It has been suggested by Claude Sère that the cabinets were originally veneered with Asian lacquer panels and painted with European lacquer and that the recessed rounded vertical corner panels framed with simple gilt bronze moldings are typically found on pieces so decorated. Sère also suggests that the marquetry is English.9 No evidence for such a radical alteration has been found, but it is true that the cabinets were possibly in an English collection by the 1850s. They were probably acquired by the immensely wealthy Lord Albert Denison, first Baron Londesborough (1805–1860).10 Inherited by his son, William Henry Forster Denison (1834–1900), the first Earl, the cabinets were likely sold with Grimston Park and its contents to John Fielden Esq. (1822–1893), MP of Dobroyd Castle, near Todmorden, in 1872. At some point the cabinets were somewhat embellished. In the catalogue of the Grimston Park sale of 1962, they are described thus: “372 A SUPERB PAIR OF LOUIS XVI KINGWOOD AND ORMOLU DISPLAY CABINETS, with upper glass panels, richly decorated in rococo fashion with chiseled ormolu; the doors to the base with bold satyr masks amidst scrolls; and inlaid at the sides with cartouches in tulipwood, sycamore and bois satine. Each 2 ft. 3 in. wide, 4 ft. 11 in. high. The cabinets are at present mounted upon loose plinths applique with ormolu satyrs amidst laurelling.”11 They were acquired at the auction by the Parisian dealers Étienne Lévy and René Weiller, who sold them to Philippe Kraemer. Kraemer removed the glazing that was not old and replaced it with wire mesh. The satyr’s masks were removed from the doors because they were of a nineteenth-century date. The plinths were not included in the sale to Kraemer and have disappeared.12
Ca. 1840–50 or 1851: possibly John Hobart Caradoc, second Baron Howden, Irish, 1799–1873 (Grimston Park, Tadcaster, Yorkshire, England), sold to Albert Denison, 1850 or 1851;13 1850 or 1851–60: possibly Albert Denison, first Baron Londesborough, English, 1805–1860 (Grimston Park, Tadcaster, Yorkshire, England), by inheritance to his son, William Henry Forester Denison, 1860; 1860–72: possibly William Henry Forester Denison, second Baron and first Earl of Londesborough, English, 1834–1900 (Grimston Park, Tadcaster, Yorkshire, England), sold, with the contents of Grimston Park, to John Fielden, 1872;14 1872–93: John Fielden, English, 1822–1893 (Grimston Park, Tadcaster, Yorkshire, England), by inheritance to his nephew, Thomas Fielden, 1893; 1893–97: Thomas Fielden, English, 1854–1897 (Grimston Park, Tadcaster, Yorkshire, England), by inheritance to his son, John Fielden, 1897; 1897–1962: Captain John Fielden, English, died 1962 (Grimston Park, Tadcaster, Yorkshire, England) [sold, The Contents of the Mansion: XVIIIe & Early XIX Century French & English Furniture, Henry Spencer & Sons, Retford, Nottinghamshire, May 29–31, 1962, lot 372, to Étienne Lévy and René Weiller]; 1962–1960s: Étienne Lévy (Paris, France) and René Weiller (Paris, France), sold to Raymond Kraemer, 1960s;15 1960s–1970s: Raymond Kraemer (Paris, France), transferred ownership to Kraemer et Cie, 1970s;16 1970s–1984: Kraemer et Cie (Paris, France), sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1984.17
Citation: Wilson, Gillian, Charissa Bremer-David, and C. Gay Nieda. “Acquisitions/1984.” J. Paul Getty Museum Journal 13 (1985): 67–88., 178, no. 54; Citation: Kjellberg, Pierre. Le mobilier français du XVIIIe siècle: Dictionnaire des ébénistes et des menuisiers. Paris: Éditions de l’Amateur, 1989., 139; Citation: Pradère, Alexandre. French Furniture Makers: The Art of the Ébéniste from Louis XIV to the Revolution. Malibu, CA: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1989., 188, fig. 174; Citation: Bremer-David, Charissa, et al. Decorative Arts: An Illustrated Summary Catalogue of the Collections of the J. Paul Getty Museum. Malibu, CA: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1993., 18–19, no. 12; Citation: Wilson, Gillian, and Catherine Hess. Summary Catalogue of European Decorative Arts in the J. Paul Getty Museum. Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2001., 8, no. 12.
The two identical display cabinets are each composed of a base section, side panels, a back panel, doors, and a cornice. The cabinets are built of white oak in a manner that allows the component sections to be easily assembled and disassembled using only a screwdriver and possibly a mallet. None of the veneering crosses from one section to another, and it appears that no glue was used to assemble the sections. The cornices are constructed as independent units with five mortises (one at each corner and one at the middle of the back edge) that fit onto corresponding tenons rising from the sides and backs. These mortise-and-tenon joints are snug but not glued, and the cornices can still be easily separated today. The bases are attached to the sides and backs in an identical fashion.18 This method of construction would have considerably facilitated transportation of the cabinets and raises the possibility that they were intended to be delivered to their original owner in sections and assembled on site. The cornices are of frame-and-panel construction. Each of the side and front rails is made of two pieces of oak, stacked vertically and laminated together. At the front corners, the rails are connected with an unusual double finger joint; the upper pieces of the rails are essentially joined with their own finger joints, while the lower pieces are joined with the same joint but in alternate orientation. The side rails are joined to the back rail with unusual dovetails in which the orientation of the joint is different for the upper and lower laminates of the side rails. In the upper rail, the pin of the dovetail is cut from the back rail, while for the lower rail, the pin is reversed and is part of the rail itself (fig. 2-7).
These cabinets were subjected to a heavy-handed restoration campaign, apparently in the late 1970s or early 1980s. The restoration seems to have involved the complete removal and subsequent regluing of the veneer on the tops and sides in order to facilitate major repairs to cracks and splits in the underlying structure. This level of restoration is increasingly rare, particularly in museum collections, because it is seen as seriously compromising the historical fabric of the object; however, it was not uncommon in Parisian workshops in the late 1970s and 1980s.
The X-ray images reveal that the cornices’s top panels are actually made of two thin layers of wood (fig. 2-8). The lower layer, with the grain running front to back, appears to be original, but a cross-grain upper (hidden) layer appears to have been added during a radical, and undocumented, restoration, probably not long before the acquisition of the cabinets by the Museum. It seems probable that the original top panels shrank and cracked, leading to still-visible damage to the top veneers (fig. 2-9). It appears that during the restoration, the tops were disassembled, the veneer was removed, and the split panels were reglued, inserting new wood strips in the areas of the cracks to compensate for shrinkage of the panels. The panels were then planed, removing half of their thickness from the upper surface, and a new layer of wood was glued on with the grain running from side to side. This cross-grain lamination was undoubtedly executed to prevent further shrinkage and cracking of the tops. After reassembly, the original veneer was relaid onto the tops. This explains why the cracks from front to back in the top veneer are slightly shifted in comparison to the cracks in the original oak panel, visible from below.
The bases are framed by four thick horizontal rails, connected to the short leg posts with pegged mortise-and-tenon joints. The large single bottom panels, made from seven butt-joined boards with front-to-back grain orientation, are secured within grooves in these rails. Glue blocks supporting the edges of the panels were added at a later date. Several hornbeam and Spanish cedar wooden blocks have been cut and glued into the lower edge of the front rails, modifying the shape of the original profiles. The original contour can be reconstructed by inspection of the secondary wood whose backside is beveled (fig. 2-10). It is not known when this modification was executed, but most of the veneer on the front of the bases must have been replaced at the time, since it covers almost all areas of the altered profile.
The cabinets’ sides are made as bipartite frame-and-panel constructions. The front and rear posts run the full height of the sides, and the three horizontal rails are attached to them with pegged mortise-and-tenon joints. The two panels of each side are made of three butt-joined boards with the grain oriented vertically, rabbeted along their exterior edges. The panels are fitted within grooves in the rails and posts so that their surfaces are flush with the posts and rails on the outside. The cabinets’ rear corner posts also function as posts for the quadripartite back panels. A single transverse rail crosses at the center, connected to the posts with unpegged and unglued mortise-and-tenon joints; the two vertical medial stiles are similarly attached to the transverse rail and to the cornices and bases above and below. The panels themselves are each made of three butt-joined boards with the grain oriented vertically, roughly beveled on their exterior edges.
The upper doors are hung on iron pivot hinges; the lower hinge is attached to the front corner post, and the upper hinge is fixed to the underside of the cornice so that the doors are released when the cornice is removed. The lower doors are hinged to the front corner posts with cranked brass hinges. The upper doors are constructed as a frame with mitered mortise-and-tenon joints. The window openings are currently fitted with wire mesh that is wrapped around a thicker perimeter wire and secured within a channel in the doorframe. As mentioned in the commentary, this wire mesh was added in the 1970s or early 1980s, replacing non-original glazing. Similar wire mesh appears in a pastel portrait of about 1745 signed “Bonde” at château de Thoiry (fig. 2-11), and a detailed contemporary description of the manufacture of wire mesh is given by Réaumur.19
X-radiography of the doors reveals at least two previous generations of tack holes and broken tacks along the perimeter of the opening; however, no clear evidence is present to suggest whether the doors were originally fitted with glass or wire. An additional series of holes on the inside of the doors, also visible in the X-radiographs but now filled, running along the top and bottom, raise the possibility that the doors of this cabinet were originally fitted with silk as depicted in the Bonde pastel.
The lower doors are composed of butt-joined vertical boards secured with tongue-and-groove joints to horizontal battens at the top and bottom. Additional thin horizontal battens have been added, presumably to flatten the doors and stabilize splits, during a subsequent restoration. Based on the X-radiographs, it appears that the doors’ interior veneer was first removed, then the battens were inserted and the veneer was relaid.
The sliding shelves, situated between the upper and lower door sections, are made of butt-joined boards running from side to side, with front-to-back battens on both ends. The battens are attached with tongue-and-groove joints but with the unusual addition of mortise and tenons at front and back (fig. 2-12). The boards have been modified by the addition of three front-to-back central battens that have been inlaid in the panel from below. In addition, the boards have been increased in depth by the addition of strips of oak along their back edges that are attached with glue and long wooden dowels, visible on the rear edge and in X-ray. The sliding shelves glide within grooves cut into thick oak blocks that have been glued onto the case side rails and fit into mortises cut into the front posts. The horizontal rails (or blades) above and below the shelves are mortise and tenoned into the front end of these blocks. The bottoms of the upper compartments are solid panels made of three butt-joined boards, running side to side, that are fitted along all four edges with tongue-and-groove joints.
The interiors of the upper and lower compartments are fitted with oak shelves veneered at their front edges with amaranth. These rest on wooden support slats that are screwed into the sides of the cabinets. Based on scribed lines and filled screw holes on the interior surfaces of the sides, it appears that the current shelves and side supports are not original and that there may have been as many as three shelves in both the upper and lower compartments in the past. In addition, it is likely that there was at least one vertical divider in each of the upper compartments. This is evidenced by the presence of filled sliding dovetail mortises running from front to back in the bottoms of the upper compartments.
Inlaid geometric patterns of bloodwood bands on amaranth fields are identical on both cabinets, with one exception: the upper bloodwood band on the side of 84.DA.24.1 is punctuated by a central oval element at the bottom, while the .2 cabinet band is uninterrupted.
The condition of the marquetry decoration is good. There are significant areas of replaced veneer decoration, particularly on the right side of cabinet 84.DA.24.2 and on the fronts of the bases. Careful observation in combination with X-radiography shows that the geometric marquetry decoration of these display cabinets was executed in the so-called piece-by-piece method, in which individual elements were glued directly onto the finished carcass one piece after the other. In this technique, it was not uncommon to glue an oversized piece of veneer down to the substrate and then trim the edges after the glue had set using an inlay knife, also called a shoulder knife. The next, adjacent piece of veneer would be trimmed along its abutting edges to match the first piece, sometimes leaving the other sides roughly shaped until after it had been glued down. Fine stringing or banding would normally be finished on all sides before being glued in place. The sequence of gluing and trimming steps would be repeated, adding more pieces of veneer until the composition was complete.
The traces of the shoulder knife are often visible in the form of small, accidental cuts or as compressed and distorted wood fibers around the tight curves of the marquetry. Such evidence is found widely on these cabinets (fig. 2-13).
The X-radiographs reveal numerous small holes beneath the marquetry resulting from the use of square veneer pins during the assembly of the marquetry. In the piece-by-piece method, veneer pins were hammered in place alongside a piece of veneer to stop it from sliding out of position during gluing and clamping. These veneer pins were removed once the glue had dried, and the next abutting piece of veneer was then placed and glued, covering the holes from the pins. The placement of the pinholes on one side or the other of a veneer joint thus indicates the order in which the pieces of veneer were laid. On these cabinets, the craftsman clearly worked from the outside of each composition toward the inside (fig. 2-14). On the lower doors and sliding shelves the location of the veneer pin holes and the edges of the existing marquetry align well (see fig. 2-12); however, on the cabinets’ sides the veneer pin holes are slightly offset (fig. 2-15). This suggests that the marquetry on the sides may have been entirely removed during a previous restoration to repair splits in the sides and reglued in a slightly different position.
The overall varnish on both cabinets appears new and glossy, indicating that they were likely refinished not long before their acquisition by the Getty. Small holes from the satyr’s mask mounts that were removed by Kraemer from the lower doors are visible, filled with wax. The oak surface in the upper interior is covered with period-inappropriate red-pigmented stain; the oak of the lower interior compartment is coated with a modern transparent finish. It is likely that these modifications were made during the same period as the refinishing of the exterior.
The gilt bronze mounts appear to have undergone some alterations and had some replacements. The mounts vary considerably in color and in the quality and style of their chasing. Some mounts have gilding that is slightly greenish in tone, while others are redder. In some cases, corresponding mounts on the two cabinets are chased in entirely different ways. Several mounts (including three of the corner mounts on the bottom doors and the central mount on the base of cabinet .1) are very clearly surmoulage copies of other mounts, as evidenced by screw holes in the original mount that are seen to be cast into the back of the surmoulage copy. The pierced foot mounts on the bases of both cabinets are different in design and chasing from the rest of the mounts.
Thirty-seven mounts from the cabinets were removed and analyzed by X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy (XRF). Most revealed compositions that are consistent with eighteenth-century brass composition. The alloys of the mounts that are chased differently from cabinet to cabinet do not reveal any clear differences in composition. The pierced foot mounts on the corners of the bases do appear to be fabricated from an alloy that is different from the majority of the mounts and more consistent with mid- to late nineteenth-century production. The chasing of these mounts is distinctly less refined than the mounts that are clearly Van Risenburgh models, such as the central mounts on the cornices.
As noted above, the contour of the lower edges of the bases was modified after construction, and it would appear that the gilt bronze mounts on the bases have all been replaced or added as well. The moldings running along the lower edges of the bases are poorly fitted to each other and follow the lower contour of the base imprecisely. They appear to be repurposed mounts from another object. The alloys of these mounts appear consistent with eighteenth-century production, but on cabinet .1, some of the mounts have clearly been cut and filed to modify their shape, leaving ungilded areas where material was removed. Extraneous holes in the center of the apron can be found by X-radiography, suggesting that another type of mount was formerly in this position.
As mentioned above, three of the lower doors’ corner mounts appear to be twentieth-century replacements based on their low silver, antimony, and tin concentrations. These are the left side top and bottom corner mounts on the right door of cabinet .1 and the bottom right mount on the left door of cabinet .2. The chasing and color of these mounts differ from the majority of the mounts.
- and K.P.
For more information on Bernard II van Risenburgh, see primarily Citation: Pradère, Alexandre. French Furniture Makers: The Art of the Ébéniste from Louis XIV to the Revolution. Malibu, CA: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1989., 183–99; Citation: Baroli, Jean-Pierre. “Le mystérieux B.V.R.B. enfin identifié.” Connaissance des Arts 61 (March 1957): 56–63., 56–63. See also Daniel Alcouffe, in Citation: Louis XV, un moment de perfection de l’art français. Exh. cat. Paris: Imprimerie Nationale, 1974., 323–24. ↩︎
Citation: Meyer, Daniel, and Pierre Arizzoli-Clémentel. Versailles: Furniture of the Royal Palace: 17th and 18th Centuries. 2 vols. Dijon: Éditions Faton, 2002., vol. 2, 50–52, no. 8 (acc. nos. V5090 and OA 9599); Citation: 18th Century: Birth of Design: Furniture Masterpieces 1650–1790. Exh. cat. Paris: Éditions Faton, 2014., 154–55, no. 40 (A. Pradère), and 156–57, no. 41 (T. Wolvesperges); Citation: Pruchnicki, Vincent. Arnouville: Le château des Machault au XVIIIe siècle. Paris: Éditions Lelivredart, 2013., 55. ↩︎
Citation: Pradère, Alexandre. French Furniture Makers: The Art of the Ébéniste from Louis XIV to the Revolution. Malibu, CA: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1989., 198, fig. 190. Now at the musée de Tessé, Le Mans, France (inv. no. 1906.29.66). See also Citation: 18th Century: Birth of Design: Furniture Masterpieces 1650–1790. Exh. cat. Paris: Éditions Faton, 2014., 158–59, no. 42 (G. Mabille). ↩︎
Citation: Birioukova, Nina. Les arts appliqués de l’Europe occidentale, XIIe–XVIIIe siècles. Leningrad: Aurora, 1974., 189, no. 93. (inv. no. MB 434); Citation: Rappe, Tamara. Un siècle d’élégance française: A Century of French Elegance (at Paris, Biennale des Antiquaires). Exh. cat. Dijon: Éditions Faton, 2016., 52, no. 14. ↩︎
Citation: Verlet, Pierre. “A Note on the ‘Poinçon’ of the Crowned ‘C.’” Apollo 151 (July 1937): 22–23., 22–23. An edict of Louis XV, registered with parliament on March 5, 1745, required that all works, old or new, made with copper, both in pure form or as part of an alloy, be stamped with a crowned C. This mark was canceled on February 4, 1749; therefore, objects with this stamp can be dated to between 1745 and 1749. ↩︎
The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, acc. no. 65.63,64. Citation: Randall, Richard H., Jr. “A French Quartet.” Walters Art Gallery Bulletin 23, no. 3 (December 1970): 1–4., 3, fig. 1. This pair of encoignures bears the stamp of Martin Étienne Lhermite, Van Risenburgh’s son-in-law. ↩︎
Acc. no. 54.56. Gift of Roscoe and Margaret Oakes. ↩︎
Ader Picard Tajan, Exceptionnels Groupes en bronze patiné, meuble d’entre-deux du château de Thoiry, April 15, 1989 (Paris: Ader Picard Tajan, 1989), lot B. For information on the folio cabinet, see Citation: Sorensen, Henri. “Rareté et qualité BVRB.” Connaissance des Arts 209 (July 1969): 60–61.; Citation: Lemonnier, Patricia, and Patrick Leperlier. “Machault d’Arnouville: Collectionneur du XVIIIe siècle.” L’Estampille/L’Objet d’Art 224 (April 1989): 28–32., 30–31; Citation: 18th Century: Birth of Design: Furniture Masterpieces 1650–1790. Exh. cat. Paris: Éditions Faton, 2014., 154–55, no. 40 (A. Pradère). This cabinet, identified in this publication as a folio cabinet on the basis of Machault d’Arnouville’s 1794 probate inventory, was previously believed to be a mineral cabinet. ↩︎
Conversation with the author, November 20, 1984. Notes in the files of the Sculpture and Decorative Arts Department, J. Paul Getty Museum. ↩︎
Albert Conyngham, son of the Marchioness of Conyngham, mistress of George IV, took the name Denison in 1849, according to the will of his maternal uncle William Joseph Denison of Seamer County, York, who bequeathed to him the bulk of his immense wealth, amounting to over £2,300,000. He bought the estate of Grimston Park from Sir John Hobart Caradoc, second Baron Howden (1799–1873) in 1850. The house was rebuilt in 1840 by Decimus Burton for the second Baron, who in 1832 married a Russian princess, Catherine Bagration. It seems that the house was sold with at least part of its contents to Lord Albert Denison. In the subsequent 1962 sale of the contents of Grimston Park house, a pair of “Louis Philippe” tables (lot 348, illus.), six papier-mâché chairs of the early nineteenth century (lot 363), and a dog grate (lot 417) all bore monograms and coronets of the second Baron Howden. It is rather unlikely that the baron would have acquired the cabinets. He was a military man, constantly on the move, and spent little time in Paris or indeed at Grimston Park. In 1850 Lord Albert was created Baron Londesborough of Londesborough, Yorkshire. He died at a relatively early age in 1860. See Citation: Hussey, Christopher. “Grimston Park: The Seat of Captain John Fielden, part I.” Country Life 88, no. 2251 (March 9, 1940): 252–56.; Citation: Hussey, Christopher. “Grimston Park: The Seat of Captain John Fielden, part II.” Country Life 88, no. 2252 (March 16, 1940): 276–88.. See cat. no. 9 for a writing table by Van Risenburgh probably owned by Lord Albert Denison. ↩︎
Henry Spencer & Sons, Grimston Park: The Contents of the Mansion: XVIII and Early XIX Century French and English Furniture, May 29–31, 1962 (Tadcaster: Henry Spencer & Sons, 1962), lot 372. Sold on the premises of Grimston Park, Tadcaster. The measurements printed in the catalogue are incorrect. Captain Fielden was the great-nephew of John Fielden. ↩︎
Telephone conversation with the author, October 1989, note in the files of the Sculpture and Decorative Arts Department, J. Paul Getty Museum. ↩︎
Date of sale as 1850: Osbert Sitwell, Left Hand Right Hand!, vol . 1, The Cruel Month (London: Macmillan, 1945), 59. Date of sale as 1851: “History,” Grimston Park Estate, accessed August 2, 2017, http://www.grimstonpark.com/the-estate/the-history/. ↩︎
“History,” Grimston Park Estate, accessed August 2, 2017, http://www.grimstonpark.com/the-estate/the-history/. ↩︎
Correspondence with Frank Berendt, March 1984, in the files of the Sculpture and Decorative Arts Department, J. Paul Getty Museum. ↩︎
Correspondence with Olivier Kraemer, October 1989, in the files of the Sculpture and Decorative Arts Department, J. Paul Getty Museum. ↩︎
Correspondence with Olivier Kraemer, October 1989, in the files of the Sculpture and Decorative Arts Department, J. Paul Getty Museum. ↩︎
There are old iron brackets screwed in place to more permanently and rigidly fix the cornices and bases in place; however, these are unlikely to be original. ↩︎
Citation: Pruchnicki, Vincent. Arnouville: Le château des Machault au XVIIIe siècle. Paris: Éditions Lelivredart, 2013., 14 (ill.); Citation: Réaumur, René Antoine Ferchault. Art de l’épinglier, par M. de Réaumur, avec des additions de M. Duhamel Du Monceau, et des remarques extraites des mémoires de M. Perronet . . . Paris: Saillant et Nyon, 1761., 66–68, pl. V. ↩︎
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