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  • Place of origin:

    France (probably, made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1860- ca. 1900 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Veneered in Japanese lacquer on a carcase of oak and poplar, lined with veneers of bois satiné and mahogany

  • Credit Line:

    The Arthur James Collection, bequeathed by his wife

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    On display at Cliffe Castle Museum, Keighley

French furniture made in the eighteenth century was avidly collected from about 1840 and pieces associated with Marie-Antoinette, the last queen of France, were particularly sought after. The queen, who followed her husband, Louis XVI to the guillotine in 1793, became a tragic heroine. Enthusiasm for her story was taken up by the court of the Empress Eugénie, wife of Napoléon III of France in the 1850s and was soon widespread. Those who could not obtain pieces that had belonged to her provided a ready market for modern pieces in the style that she favoured and this piece is typical of such revival styles. The cupboard is veneered with Japanese lacquer, reminding the user of Marie-Antoinette's enthusiasm for this material, although this lacquer clearly dates from the 1860s or later, and the central drawer shows a mount that includes her monogram 'MA'.

On loan to Cliffe Castle Museum.

Physical description

The cabinet is slightly taller than dado height, of ebonised wood, veneered with Japanese lacquer and set with gilt-bronze mounts; the slab is of greenish marble. The cabinet is rectangular in form, mounted on a low plinth, and with inset Corinthian columns at either front corner, supporting the frieze section, which is set with three drawers. The main carcase of the cupboard is enclosed by two doors of unequal width, meeting to the left of the central panel. The marble slab sits within a gilt-bronze mount on the top edge. The cupboard is veneered on the front and sides with panels of Japanese lacquer showing trails of plants and birds, the outer two panels on the front with an applied oval of lacquer in the centre, framed by a gilt-bronze mount. The carcase of the cupboard is in oak and poplar, the cupboard lined with bois satiné. The drawers are of oak, with mahogany front panels, ebonised on the front surface and set with gilt-bronze mounts. The side drawers, and the side panels of the frieze are set with mounts of foliated scrolls, centreing on a ram's mask. The centre drawer is set with a mount of interlaced floral swags, centreing on the monogram MA. On the front and sides of the cabinet, the frieze areas above the front columns are set with mounts in the form of lidded urns with flowers. The four drawers of the cupboard are operated by spring catches set on the upper and lower edge of the main drawer compartment

Place of Origin

France (probably, made)


ca. 1860- ca. 1900 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Veneered in Japanese lacquer on a carcase of oak and poplar, lined with veneers of bois satiné and mahogany


Height: 110.5 cm over marble, Width: 129.5 cm, Depth: 58.5 cm

Descriptive line

Cabinet veneered in Japanese lacquer, with gilt-bronze mounts, one including the monogram MA. French, ca. 1860-1900


Oak; Poplar; Bois satiné; Gilt bronze; Marble


Cabinet-making; Veneering; Casting; Chasing; Gilding




Furniture and Woodwork Collection

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