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Ornament Print

c. 1720-1739 (Published)
Place of origin

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

Object details

Object type
Materials and techniques
etching with some engraving
Brief description
Jean-Philippe Boulle, 1 of 3 plates from a suite of 4 grotesque designs for marquetry panels. Paris, c. 1720-1739.
Physical description
Print comprising a horizontal panel of ornament in the grotesque style containing scrolling foliage interspersed with figures.
  • From catalogue height: 18.7cm
  • From catalogue width: 42.7cm
  • Height: 200mm (Measured by Conservation in 2012)
  • Width: 437mm (Measured by Conservation in 2012)
Marks and inscriptions
I. P. Boulle fecit. CP. (Lettered)
Credit line
Given by Mr Aubrey J Toppin
Object history
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.
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.
Bibliographic references
  • Erroneously attr. to André-Charles Boulle 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).
  • Attr. to Jean-Philippe Boulle, son of André-Charles Boulle Guilmard, D., Les Maîtres Ornemanistes, Paris, 1880-1881, p. 101, 46.
  • 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.' Bibliothèque Nationale, Inventaire du Fonds Français, Paris, 1930 – , vol. II, p. 55.
  • Discussion of the range of printed sources used by French cabinetmakers de Bellaigue, G., 'Engravings and the French Eighteenth-Century Marqueteur I', The Burlington Magazine, Vol. 107, No. 746 (May, 1965), pp. 240-250.
  • Second part of above article de Bellaigue, G., 'Engravings and the French Eighteenth-Century Marqueteur II', The Burlington Magazine, Vol. 107, No. 748 (Jul., 1965), pp. 356-363.
  • The V&A's impressions mentioned briefly and illustrated Wilson, G., 'Boulle', Furniture History, vol. VIII (1972): 47-69, p. 49, pl. s 48A; 48B; 49.
  • Notes the existence of three impressions in the Bibliothèque de l'Arsenal, Paris 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.
  • 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.
Accession number

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Record createdFebruary 2, 2009
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