Side cabinet with Boulle marquetry
The rectangular green antique marble top with moulded edge above a frieze mounted with acanthus leaves and centered by a second rectangular foliate cast moulding, above a central panelled cupboard featuring a brown tortoiseshell and brass marquetry en première partie and contrepartie set within an egg and leaf-tip band. Above the breakfront plinth, centred by a stylised foliate panel and mounted with circular paterae, the similarly panelled sides are mounted with masks and decorated with scrolling acanthus and foliate paterae. The side cabinet rests on four turned feet mounted with gadrooned collars.
This type of neoclassical cabinet is typical for the extravagant neoclassical Boulle revival of the Louis XVI period, when cabinetmakers of renown such as Adam Weisweiler (1744-1778) and Philippe-Claude Montigny (1743-1800) re-used luxurious brass, pewter, tortoiseshell and ebony marquetry panels or bronze ornaments by André-Charles Boulle (1642-1732), to reconstruct their pieces of furniture in order to make new, innovative creations. They applied old elements of tall wardrobes and cabinets on a modern breakfront structure following the tripartite division invented by Boulle.
These new pieces were often bought by marchand-merciers such as Claude-François Julliot (1727-1794), who sold them from the 1760s-1780s onwards to important collectors. From that time on, Boulle furniture was being sought after vividly by collectors to be used and displayed in a masculine context of studies, libraries and art galleries, where it was associated with paintings and sometimes, sculpture collections.