Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

Pair of encoignures
  • Pair of encoignures
    Oeben, Jean-François, born 1721 - died 1763
  • Enlarge image

Pair of encoignures

  • Place of origin:

    Paris (made)

  • Date:

    1760-1765 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Oeben, Jean-François, born 1721 - died 1763 (made)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    oak veneered with tulipwood; marquetry in tulipwood, kingwood and green-stained sycamore; gilt-brass mounts and marble slab.

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by John Jones

  • Museum number:

    1114-1882

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This pair of corner cupboards (encoignures) is stamped by the German-born cabinetmaker Jean François Oeben (1721-1763). Oeben, who came to Paris in 1749, was made a Master cabinetmaker in 1754. He was given a license to supply furniture to the French royal palaces in 1759.

Oeben was among the first cabinetmakers to adopt the Neoclassical style, of which this pair of cupboards is an important early example. The cubed marquetry decoration on the sides of the cupboards, and the forms of the gilt-brass mounts, are particularly typical of Oeben's Neoclassical work.

Physical description

Pair of triangular corner cupboards (encoignures) on raised feet. Each with a single frieze drawer, above two doors enclosing a single cupboard.

The cases are of oak, veneered with tulipwood. On either side of the cupboard doors are vertical curvilinear strips, decorated with a cubed marquetry pattern in tulipwood, kingwood and green-stained sycamore. Reserves on the friezes, plinths and back edges of the front stiles are veneered with reserves of green-stained sycamore. Each cupboard door is decorated with a marquetry panel showing a different bouquet of flowers. These include lilies, roses and carnations.

Each cabinet has gilt-brass mounts and a marble slab. Both cases are stamped, underneath the marble, 'J.F. OEBEN' and 'JME'.

Place of Origin

Paris (made)

Date

1760-1765 (made)

Artist/maker

Oeben, Jean-François, born 1721 - died 1763 (made)

Materials and Techniques

oak veneered with tulipwood; marquetry in tulipwood, kingwood and green-stained sycamore; gilt-brass mounts and marble slab.

Marks and inscriptions

Stamped on the top of each case: 'J.F. Oeben' and 'JME'

Dimensions

Height: 91 cm, Width: 27 cm, Depth: 51 cm

Object history note

This pair of corner cupboards entered the Museum in 1882 as part of a large bequest by the military tailor John Jones. Nothing is know about their provenance before they entered Mr Jones' collection.

In 1899, measured drawings of the cabinets were published by the Museum in W.G. Paulson Townsend's book Measured Drawings of French Furniture in the South Kensington Museum (plates 102-6). This book allowed contemporary cabinet-makers to make reproductions of French 18th-century furniture, supplying the vibrant market that existed for these objects in late 19th-century London.

Descriptive line

Pair of encoignures with doors showing floral marquetry, by Jean-François Oeben. French, c. 1760

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

W.G. Paulson Townsend, Measured drawings of French furniture in the South Kensington Museum (London 1899), plates 102-6
Eriksen, Svend. Early Neo-Classicism in France. London: Faber & Faber, 1974, 432 pp, ill. ISBN 0 571 08717 5, p.314, pl. 96

Labels and date

[Label text by Peter Thornton]

Pair of corner cupboards ('encoignures')
French (Paris); about 1760-62
Stamped 'J.F. Oeben'

Veneered with various woods in marquetry panels. Gilt bronze mounts. The slabs of Portor marble and brass bands are replacements

The ébéniste Jean-François Oeben was accredited to the French court and was among the very first cabinet-makers to adopt the Neo-Classical style, of which this pair of corner cupboards is an important early example. He died in January 1763 and, while his window continued to produce furniture that was stamped with his name, there is good reason to believe that these cupboards were designed and perhaps even constructed during his lifetime.

Jones Collection
Museum No. 114-1882 [1980]

Materials

Oak; Kingwood; Tulipwood; Sycamore; Marble; Brass

Collection

Furniture and Woodwork Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.