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Design for a marquetry panel
  • Design for a marquetry panel
    Boulle, Jean-Philippe
  • Enlarge image

Design for a marquetry panel

  • Place of origin:

    Paris (Published)

  • Date:

    c. 1720-1739 (Published)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Boulle, Jean-Philippe (Designer)
    Boulle, Jean-Philippe (Printmaker)
    Gautrot, Nicolas (Publisher)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    etching with some engraving

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Mr Aubrey J Toppin

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level C, case 2, shelf H, box 6

Physical description

Print comprising a horizontal panel of ornament in the grotesque style containing scrolling foliage interspersed with figures.

Place of Origin

Paris (Published)


c. 1720-1739 (Published)


Boulle, Jean-Philippe (Designer)
Boulle, Jean-Philippe (Printmaker)
Gautrot, Nicolas (Publisher)

Materials and Techniques

etching with some engraving

Marks and inscriptions

I. P. Boulle fecit. CP.


Height: 18.7 cm from catalogue, Width: 42.7 cm from catalogue, Height: 200 mm Measured by Conservation in 2012, Width: 437 mm Measured by Conservation in 2012

Object history note

From the collection of Aubrey J. Toppin, CVO, FSA (1881-1969), a former Assistant Keeper at the National Museum of Ireland and noted ceramics specialist.

Descriptive line

Jean-Philippe Boulle, 1 of 3 plates from a suite of 4 grotesque designs for marquetry panels. Paris, c. 1720-1739.

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

Heinecken, C. H., Dictionnaire des artistes, dont nous avons des estampes, vol.s I-IV, Leipzig, 1778-1790, vol. III, p. 256.
Erroneously attr. to André-Charles Boulle
Defer, P., Catalogue général des ventes publiques... Estampes, (1865), tome. 1, p. 410 (1-3).
Erroneously attr. to André-Charles Boulle
Guilmard, D., Les Maîtres Ornemanistes, Paris, 1880-1881, p. 101, 46.
Attr. to Jean-Philippe Boulle, son of André-Charles Boulle
Bibliothèque Nationale, Inventaire du Fonds Français, Paris, 1930 – , vol. II, p. 55.
Dismisses attribution to André-Charles Boulle and states they are not the work of Pierre Boulle (1619-35) either. Suggests they are the work Jean Boulle, father to André-Charles Boulle: 'Dans ces conditions, il pourrait s'agir plutôt d'un travail de Jean Boulle, père de Charles-André, mort aux Galeries du Louvre, en 1680.'
de Bellaigue, G., 'Engravings and the French Eighteenth-Century Marqueteur I', The Burlington Magazine, Vol. 107, No. 746 (May, 1965), pp. 240-250.
Discussion of the range of printed sources used by French cabinetmakers
de Bellaigue, G., 'Engravings and the French Eighteenth-Century Marqueteur II', The Burlington Magazine, Vol. 107, No. 748 (Jul., 1965), pp. 356-363.
Second part of above article
Wilson, G., 'Boulle', Furniture History, vol. VIII (1972): 47-69, p. 49, pl. s 48A; 48B; 49.
The V&A's impressions mentioned briefly and illustrated
Fuhring, P., 'Designs for and after Boulle Furniture' in The Burlington Magazine, Vol. 134, No. 1071 (Jun., 1992), pp. 350-362, p. 369, note 39.
Notes the existence of three impressions in the Bibliothèque de l'Arsenal, Paris
Victoria and Albert Museum, Department of Engraving, Illustration and Design and Department of Paintings, Accessions 1936, London: Board of Education, 1937.
D. Guilmard, Les Maîtres Ornemanistes, Paris, 1880-81.

Production Note

There is considerable confusion in the literature regarding the attribution of these prints. Historically the prints were attributed to André-Charles Boulle, but the printmaker's initials clearly do not tally with this. The IFF suggested they might be the work of Jean Boulle, A-C Boulle's father, but the publisher's dates make this impossible, unless they were published after Jean Boulle's death to his designs, or are reissues of an earlier suite. However, the lettering, 'I [J] Boulle f.' and 'I. [J.]P. Boulle fecit. CP.' specifically tells us that Boulle etched the plates himself and the initials are those of Jean-Philippe Boulle (as Guilmard also proposes), one of A-C Boulle's four sons, who died in 1744 and was thus a contemporary of the publisher, Gautrot. Gillian Wilson mentions the prints in her 1972 article for Furniture History,where she describes them as the work of Jean-Philippe Boulle.


Printing ink




Ornament prints; Furniture; Designs


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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