Elegant and ornate, this eighteenth-century walnut cabinet dates to one of the most illustrious eras of French design, the reign of Louis XV. Improving upon the baroque style that characterized Louis XIV’s rule, furniture under Louis XV acquired more feminine, organic motifs. Popular elements included frames of rocaille, an exuberant French style of ornamentation featuring shell-like motifs, and carved sea creatures. This cabinet features brass pulls delicately styled as dolphins, one of the favorite motifs of the period. The lower cabinet incorporates elaborately carved sea dragons, their twin bodies evocative of the abundant curves distinctive to the rocaille style. Smaller decorative carvings extend this serpentine motif to the delicate moldings, turned pillar supports, and finials. The collector should also note the beautifully detailed fluted walnut mounts that frame the beveled glass cluster in the center of the cabinet. The eye is at once drawn toward the beveled glass centerpiece design that radiates outwards.
On either side of this stunning center cabinet, one may also appreciate two sets of delicate shelves, ideal for displaying statuettes or one’s favorite china. Dropping the gaze, a little lower, one may additionally admire the cream marble top to the detachable base; here one could position side dishes or dessert for a fashionable dinner party. The ornate detailing of the escutcheons together with a tasseled key completes the elegant look All in all, this cabinet is a testament to the joint effort between the cabinet maker, the glassmaker, metalsmith, and the marble stone expert who collaborated in the design of this cabinet. Considering its beauty and history, this 1760s cabinet would make an attractive addition to any dining room or stylishly grand kitchen.
Complete: Height= 85 in., Width= 41.5 in. Depth= 19 in.
Top: Height= 52 in., Width=39 in. Depth= 12.5 in.
Bottom: Height= 33 in. Width= 41.5 in. Depth= 19 in., 150 lbs.