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Welcome to MobiLusso Furniture , In this area, we highlight the furniture in the historical periods and stages of its development , including French Period Furniture of Louis XIV, Louis XV and Louis XVI periods, Empire , Rococo , Regency style Italian Furniture; Florence, Rome, Southern Italy, Venice and Northern Italy , English, Chippendale , German , Russian , .. furniture in ancient Egyptian (Pharaonic) to Islamic , American furniture as well as the knowledge: the designers and craftsmen in different periods ...
1333 to 1323 B.C H. 56.4 in. (141 cm), W. 93.6 in. (234 cm) Egypt
Funerary Bed - King Tut

This wonderful bed was found in the antechamber of Tutankhamun; It is made of gilded wood and shown here, a composite animal with a hippopotamus's head wearing a wig, a leopard's body, and a crocodile's tail and crest.
Although the animals which form the sides of this bed have been regarded as male, their heads and facial features are the same as those of a very commonly represented lioness goddess, Sekhmet. Each figure is carved of wood, overlaid with a thin layer of plaster and gilded. The nose and drops under the eyes are inlaid with blue glass. The painted eyes have lids of black glass.
1333 to 1323 B.C Egypt
Tutankhamun's Gold Throne - King Tut

The golden throne that Howard Carter discovered in the Antechamber beneath the hippopotamus couch is similar to the chair belonging to Sitamun.
The style was popular for royal chairs of the Eighteenth Dynasty.
Instead of female torsos protruding from the seat, however, the more traditional lions are in their place. Carved of wood, the armchair is covered in gold, and there is some silver overlay as well.
Colored glass, faience, calcite, and semi-precious stones are used for the inlays.
The scene on the back panel shows the queen anointing the king.
The sun's rays, terminating in hands, radiate towards the royal couple.
The king wears a composite crown and a broad collar and the queen wears a diadem.
The bodies and wigs of both of them are inlaid with exquisite colored glass and their linen robes are silver.
Two projecting lions' heads protect the seat of the throne while the arms take the form of winged serpents wearing the double crown and guarding the names of the king.
Tutankhamun's Gold Throne - King Tut

The Throne of Tutankhamun is but one example of the many artifacts which was found in his tomb among a jumble of furniture, boxes, and objects of alabaster. ....
H. 18 3/4 in. (47.6 cm), W. 76 1/2 in. (194.3 cm)
Panel, Marquetry, second half of 8th century Egypt Fig wood and bone

Possibly from the side of a cenotaph (a monument erected in honor of a person whose remains are elsewhere), this elaborate fig-wood panel inlaid with bone incorporates decorative elements from both the late antique and Sasanian traditions. The geometric motifs seem to derive directly from the Roman mosaic repertoire, and the carved bone plaques in the central section bear vine scrolls with a purely classical lineage. The winglike designs in the arch spandrels and the central square are of Sasanian derivation and were incorporated into the Islamic vocabulary as early as the late seventh century.
1279–1213 b.c.Egyptian; From the tomb of Sennedjem, Deir el-Medina, western Thebes Gessoed and painted wood
H. 6 1/4 in. (16 cm)
Box from the tomb of Sennedjem, New Kingdom, reign of Ramesses II, ca.

The lid of this box, which is attached at the back with horizontal pivots, opens to reveal four compartments for cosmetics. The box could be secured by winding a piece of twine around the two knobs at the front. Its elaborate decoration was intended to imitate more expensive boxes inlaid with ebony, ivory, and perhaps cedar or mahogany.
1550–1295 b.c. Egyptian; From the tomb of Hatnofer and Ramose, western Thebes Whitewashed wood; linen
Gable-topped chest and linens, New Kingdom, Dynasty 18, ca.

This whitewashed chest was one of three found in Hatnofer's tomb. Two of the chests, including this one, were probably made especially for her burial. They were filled with linen sheets of various qualities and weaves. Shown here with the chest are a shirt of fine linen; a sheet of superfine weave, probably used as an outer garment; and a sheet of coarser weave more than seventeen yards long, which may have served as a mattress. After it was packed with linen, the chest was tied shut with a piece of linen cord that was secured with a mud seal.
1479–1473 b.c. Egyptian; From the tomb of Hatnofer and Ramose, western Thebes Boxwood, cypress, ebony, linen cord
H. 20 7/8 in. (53 cm)
Chair, New Kingdom, Dynasty 18, early co-reign of Thutmose III and Hatshepsut, ca.

Skillfully carved and finished, Hatnofer's chair is a fine example of Egyptian woodworking. The various elements were assembled with mortise-and-tenon joinery, with pegs to hold the tenons in place. Pegs also fasten the braces to the back and seat. The joins were reinforced with a resinous glue.
Filippo Pelagio Palagi (Italian, 1775–1860) Mahogany with maplewood and mahogany inlay, upholstered with modern silk.
(.1, sofa): 42 1/2 x 90 x 31 1/8 in. (108 x 228.6 x 79.1 cm); (.2 and .3, armchairs) each: 43 x 27 9/16 x 24 in. (109.2 x 70 x 61 cm)
Sofa and armchairs, ca. 1832–35

This sofa and two armchairs are from a set of furniture that also included a daybed, six side chairs, and two additional armchairs. The set was designed by the Bolognese architect Filippo Pelagio Palagi, who in 1832 was commissioned by Carlo Alberto, king of Sardinia, to redecorate his royal palaces. One of these palaces was at Racconigi, and Palagi designed this set of furniture for the principal drawing room next to the royal bedroom. The armchairs and sofa are distinguished by the sculptural treatment of the crest rails and by the quality and refinement of the veneering. The set of furniture was executed by Gabrielle Cappello, whose workshop produced many of Pelagi's designs for Racconigi. The silk upholstery fabric on the armchairs and sofa is a reproduction of the original covering; it was woven by the textile firm that originally produced the fabric in the 1830s.
Wood, carved, painted, and partly gilded; replaced green-black granite top H. 35 3/8 x 48 5/8 x 23 in. (89.9 x 123.5 x 58.4 cm)
Table, ca. 1775–80 Italian (Rome)

The paint finish, imitative of Egyptian Aswan granite, decorative gilt hieroglyphs, and animal figures on this table are closely related to those on a similar console attributed to Piranesi and seen in a portrait of Margherita Gentili Boccapaduli (1777) by Laurent Pécheux. Similar hieroglyphs also appear on some chimney designs by Piranesi. That the table's craftsman was unfamiliar with the meaning of these symbols is evident in their reversed order and general incompleteness. Its four hermlike legs are topped with pharaonic busts wearing khepresh headdresses and, at the bottom, pairs of gilt-wood human feet.
Stuccowork probably by Abbondio Stazio of Massagno (1675–1745) and Carpoforo Mazzetti (ca. 1684–1748); ceiling painting probably by Gaspare Diziani of Belluno (1689–1767) Italian (Venice) Wood, stucco, marble, glass H. 25 ft. 2 in. (767.1 cm), W. 18 ft. 2 in. (553.7 cm), D. 13 ft. 2 in. (401.3 cm)
Bedroom from Sagredo Palace, Venice, 18th century (ca. 1718)

In design and workmanship, this bedroom, consisting of an antechamber with a bed alcove, is one of the finest of its period. The decoration is in stucco and carved wood. In the antechamber, fluted Corinthian pilasters support an entablature out of which fly amorini bearing garlands of flowers. Other amorini bear the gilded frame of a painting by Gasparo Diziani, depicting dawn triumphant over night. Above the entry to the alcove seven amorini frolic, holding a shield with the monogram of Zaccaria Sagredo. A paneled wood dado with a red-and-white marble base runs around the room. The unornamented portions of the walls are covered with seventeenth-century brocatelle. The bed alcove has its original marquetry floor. The stuccowork was probably done by Abbondio Stazio and Carpoforo Mazzetti. The amorini are beautifully modeled and the arabesques of the doors are exquisitely executed. Everything in this bedroom forms a buoyant and joyful ensemble.
Beech wood, painted and decorated ebony with encrustations of mother-of-pearl; gilded ivory, and gouache miniatures on parchment under glass; later textile-lining 7 7/8 x 15 5/8 in.
(20 x 39.7 cm)
Casket (cofanetto or scrigno), ca. 1575–1600 Venice

This casket is adorned with mother-of-pearl on both the outside and inner surface of the lid in addition to panels with Islamicizing alla damashina decorative patterns. Set within this glistening framework are miniatures painted on parchment under glass with mythological themes, including the "love of the gods." Such a stylish casket was likely part of an aristocratic woman's trousseau or a wedding gift.
Beech wood, partially gilded and painted rosewood veneer; gold powder, gold leaf, silver flakes, silver-gilt, bronze, and yellow metal 7 3/16 x 16 3/8 x 11 3/8 in. (18.3 x 41.6 x 28.9 cm), H. with handle 10 3/8 in. (26.4 cm)
Casket (cofanetto or scrigno), ca. 1570–90 Venice

Similar in shape to a cassone (a large receptacle for a bride's dowry) but much smaller, this object is either a cofanetto (a luxury vanity case for toilet articles and personal items) or a scrigno (a strong box). Both kinds of caskets were locked with a key that belonged to the bedroom of upper-class Venetian Renaissance women. The density of the painted gold-leaf ornament that covers the surface bestows a distinctly Ottoman flavor to this object, and in fact the horizontal inserts closely resemble the patterns on contemporary Ottoman bookbindings. Only the elaborate handle and escutcheon give away this box's Venetian origin.
Gesso on wood (pastiglia)
7 1/4 x 8 1/2 x 10 1/4 in. (18.4 x 21.6 x 26 cm)
Casket (cassetta), 1500–1530 Ferrara or Venice

This wood casket is decorated with pastiglia ornament, a relief technique found in northern Italy between the late fourteenth and mid-sixteenth centuries. In contemporary recipes, the substance was called pasta di muschio (musk paste). It was made of a white lead paste mixed with egg white as a binder and scented with musk. The scent was thought to have aphrodisiacal properties, which added to the casket's value as a marriage gift. The grotesque decorative forms were inspired by Roman examples.
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Walnut, maple, ebony, ebonized wood, and fruitwood, traces of gilding and red paint

58 x 16 3/4 x 16 1/2 in. (147.3 x 42.5 x 41.9 cm)

Sgabello, ca. 1489–91 Italian (Florence)

The coat of arms on the crest is that of Filippo Strozzi (1426–1491), head of a prominent Florentine banking family. In design it is closely related to a medal in the style of Niccolò Fiorentino (1430–1514), probably commissioned for the laying of the cornerstone of Filippo Strozzi's new palace in Florence on August 6, 1489.
Marco del Buono Giamberti (Italian, Florentine, 1402–1489); Apollonio di Giovanni di Tomaso (Italian, Florentine, 1415/17–1465) Tempera, gold, and silver on wood 39 1/2 x 77 x 32 7/8 in. (100.3 x 195.6 x 83.5 cm)
Cassone with the Conquest of Trebizond, 1460s

Many questions about this highly significant Renaissance cassone, or marriage chest, remain to be answered. Its principal elements were likely constructed in the workshop of Marco del Buono and Apollonio di Giovanni, whose artists and craftsmen produced many of the most elaborate and interesting wedding cassoni in mid-fifteenth century Florence. Devices of the Strozzi family—a falcon and the inscription mezze—adorn the sides of the chest, and it has long been thought to have been made to celebrate a Strozzi marriage of about 1460 and may originally have been in the Strozzi palace. The fascinating depiction of a battle involving the Ottoman Turks and taking place—impossibly—before both cities of Constantinople and Trebizond has been the subject of many interpretations. It most likely refers to the fall of Trebizond on the Black Sea to the Ottoman empire in 1461, although the depiction of the Mongol emperor Tamerlane, seated at the far right, leaves open the possibility that it depicts his great victory over the Turks at Ankara in 1402. The Florentine interest in these events had to do with their extensive mercantile concerns in the area, especially in Constantinople.
Wood, bone, glass
couch: 29 1/2 x 45 in. (74.9 x 114.3 cm), footstool: 9 1/8 x 26 1/2 in. (23.2 x 67.3 cm)
Couch and footstool with bone carvings and glass inlays, 1st–2nd century a.d.Roman

Parts of the glass decoration along the sides of both the couch and footstool are very similar to glass wall revetment panels found at the site of an imperial villa belonging to the co-emperor Lucius Verus (r. 161–169 A.D.) on the Via Cassia outside Rome. However, the carved bone inlays are paralleled on other Roman couches. These are decorated with scenes of hunting, cupids, and other mythical figures such as Ganymede.
Designer: Mervyn Macartney (British, 1853–1932);
W. Hall for Kenton & Co., London Mahogany veneered with Macassar ebony, silver molding, silver-plated brass knobs 38 x 29 1/2 x 14 in. (96.5 x 74.9 x 35.5 cm)
Desk, 1890–92

In a review of an Arts and Crafts exhibition at the New Gallery in London in 1893, The Cabinet Maker and Art Furnisher called this desk (or the nearly identical one now in the Minneapolis Institute of Arts) "quite a gem. Original in design, dressed up with lovely wood, and perfectly made …, it is one of the few miniature woodwork triumphs of the exhibition. Hitherto the French had a monopoly in dainty things of this sort. The buyer who has the means need not now go to Paris to satisfy the taste of his lady-love." Indeed, the desk is a perfect expression of the objectives of the short-lived London firm of Kenton & Co.: to supply furniture of good design and the best workmanship. This elegant piece, designed by Mervyn Macartney, one of four architects who founded Kenton & Co. in 1890, is reminiscent of eighteenth-century French furniture, but the exquisite Macassar ebony veneer also foreshadows the work of Art Deco artist Émile-Jacques Ruhlmann (1879–1933).
Designer; Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co., Maker; Sir Edward Burne-Jones (British, 1833–1898),
Painter Made in England Painted pine, oil paint on leather, brass, copper H. 73 in. (185.4 cm), W. 45 in. (114.3 cm), D. 21 in. (53.3 cm)
Cabinet, 1861 Philip Webb (British, 1831–1915)

This early masterpiece of the Arts and Crafts movement exemplifies the collaborative endeavors of William Morris and his circle to improve design standards. Morris believed that a return to the principles of medieval production, with fine artists creating functional objects, would help overcome the evils of industrialization. This cabinet, one of several in which Morris enlisted the participation of Sir Edward Burne-Jones, is an attempt to erase the distinction between the fine and the applied arts. The painting on leather with a punched background is itself a craftsman's medium. Although the cabinet is usually described as in the "medieval style," it is actually a vivid example of the ability of the Morris firm to convert the eclecticism that marked much art of the late nineteenth century into an original and modern style. Although Burne-Jones' painted figures are in medieval costume, much of the decoration is equally Oriental in inspiration. Philip Webb's straightforward design, however, which boldly displays the casework skeleton on the exterior, anticipated the emphasis on structural elements that would inform the design revolution of the next century.
Gilded mountain ash, brass H. 35 1/2 in. (90.2 cm), W. 24 1/4 in. (61.6 cm), D. 23 1/4 in. (59.1 cm)
Armchair, ca. 1828 Karl Friedrich Schinkel (German, 1781–1841)

This armchair is from a set of ten (eight armchairs and two sofas) designed by Karl Friedrich Schinkel in 1828 for the Marble or Reception Room in the Prinz Karl Palais in Berlin. Schinkel, the leading German architect and designer of the early nineteenth century, based the model on a Roman chair in a Herculaneum wall painting, engraved in the Antichità de Ercolano. The upholstery is a modern recreation after the original drawing by Schinkel preserved in the Kupferstichkabinett, Berlin.
Walnut, parcel-ebonized and mounted with gilt bronze; leather, glass, brass H. 105 in. (268 cm), W. 37 in. (94 cm), D. 21 in. (52.5 cm)
Secrétaire à abattant, ca. 1815–20, with later additions Austrian

The unidentified coat of arms of this Biedermeier secrétaire, with its wooden columns and slats resembling the pipes of an organ, is a later embellishment.
Carl Scheibe (court cabinetmaker); Iwan Naschon (master carver); Carl Focht (court guilder); Sergej Schaschin (upholsterer) Saint Petersburg Beech and pine wood, partly gilt with burnished and matte surfaces, later light blue silk show cover 39 x 72 1/4 x 32 1/4 in. (99.1 x 183.5 x 81.9 cm)
Settee, March–June 1803 Andrei N. Voronikhin (designer) (Russian, 1759–1814);

This settee is one of the most significant pieces of documented Imperial Russian furniture to appear in recent decades. A court order of 1799 stipulated that all objects in an Imperial dowry had to be "worthy" of a Russian grand duchess and reflect "the indigenous local splendor as an emblem of courtly life and stately prestige." In March 1803, Russia's foremost designer and architect, Andrei Voronikhin, set a time frame of three months for the court artisans to create a genuinely Russian bedroom suite for the sister of Czar Alexander I, Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna, who was to marry hereditary prince Carl Friedrich of Sachsen-Weimar-Eisenach in 1804. To meet the challenge, innovative techniques such as prefabricated carvings were applied, yet typically Russian features like the dual-tone matte finish and polished gilding were not sacrificed. The carved armrests on the settee represent the double-headed eagle of the Romanov arms. After her wedding, the highly sophisticated Maria Pavlovna moved to Weimar, where she cultivated a weekly salon that included the poets Goethe and Schiller. Her ostentatious suite—two settees (the other is still in Weimar), a richly carved canopy bed, a fire screen, eight armchairs, two tabourets, and other pieces—was installed in the Weimar Palace. Documents and illustrations from December 1804 reveal that a sky-blue silk velvet was used for the upholstery.
Partially stained oak, mahogany, maple, and fruitwood, felt, partially tooled and gilded leather, iron and steel fittings, brass H. 30 7/8 in. (78.5 cm)
Mechanical game table, ca. 1780–83 David Roentgen (German, 1743–1807) Germany; Neuwied

Elegant furniture incorporating intriguing mechanical devices was a trademark of the Roentgen workshop, which from 1768 until about 1793 was one of Europe's most successful cabinetmaking enterprises. The distinguished design and the innovative way prefabricated elements such as the detachable legs were assembled make this table an example par excellence of David Roentgen's ingenious creations. His objects are an amalgamation of superior technical skills, sophisticated looks, high-quality materials, and multiple functions. Roentgen's patrons sought adaptable furnishings that could perform manifold tasks. This piece is a console, a desk for writing and reading, and a game table for cards and chess with a concealed spring-driven backgammon box. Yet when closed, it took up only a small amount of space in the intimate interiors popular during the Age of Enlightenment. A set of eighteenth-century game pieces—twenty-nine stamped wooden medallions illustrate European monarchs and historical views—were associated with the table. The Museum has a small but fine group of earlier pieces by Roentgen, but until now lacked an example from the Neoclassical period of 1780–90, when his furniture designs were characterized by restrained architectural outlines and the juxtaposition of finely grained exotic mahogany with polished brass mounts.
Mahogany, covered in modern red morocco leather each 38 1/4 x 22 x 22 1/2 in. (97.2 x 55.9 x 57.1 cm))
Set of fourteen side chairs, ca. 1772 Thomas Chippendale (English, 1718–1779)

Thomas Chippendale executed this set of Neoclassical chairs for Goldsborough Hall in Yorkshire, which belonged to Daniel Lascelles, younger brother of Chippendale's most extravagant patron, Edwin Lascelles of nearby Harewood House. These chairs represent one of Chippendale's most elegant designs. He produced five sets with minor variations, including one in 1769 for Lansdowne House which has not survived. These chairs beautifully illustrate the unity of design between the furniture and Robert Adam's decoration of the Lansdowne dining room that was one of the most notable aspects of his Neoclassical interiors.
Painted and gilded lindenwood (.114–.117) Each 39 1/2 x 19 1/4 x 17 1/2 in. (100.3 x 48.9 x 44.5 cm); (.118–.119) Each 44 x 26 x 21 in. (111.8 x 66 x 53.3 cm); (.120) 43 x 54 1/2 x 25 1/4 in. (109.2 x 138.4 x 64.1 cm); (.121) H. 43 in. (109.2 cm), W. 54 1/2 in. (138.4 cm), D. 25 1/4 in. (64.1 cm) .
The Seehof garden furniture, ca. 1763–64 German

The settees and chairs illustrated here were made for the Franckenstein Pavilion in the gardens of Seehof Castle near Bamberg, one of the three summer residences in Southern Germany used by Adam Friedrich von Seinsheim, prince bishop of Würzberg and Bamberg. A true garden enthusiast, it was under von Seinsheim that the gardens of Seehof were embellished, which must have resembled the still extant Rococo gardens completed by von Seinsheim at Veitshöchheim. His love for gardens and garden imagery also carried over into the interior decoration and furnishings of his castles, as the Seehof furniture demonstrates. A unique example of German Rococo furniture executed in a more flamboyant style than its French prototypes, the ensemble was designed specifically for the Garden Room in the Franckenstein Pavilion. Used as an audience room, it was referred to as the "Green Trellis Chamber" in the 1774 Seehof inventory and painted entirely with trompe l'oeil trellis and foliage. The garden room's furniture was made to match: the backs of the chairs and settees are richly carved in the form of garden trellis-work with colored flowers and foliage.
Carved gilt pine with verde antico marble veneered top each 33 1/2 x 73 1/2 x 1/4 in. (85.1 x 186.7 x 89.5 cm)
Side tables, ca. 1740
After a design by Matthias Lock (English, ca. 1710–1770)

This pair of monumental side tables are similar in many ways to a table in an unfinished drawing by the designer and carver Matthias Lock (ca. 1710–1770) in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Although Lock is best known for his designs in an English version of the French Rococo style, this particular drawing is in the bold manner associated with the English Palladian movement. Propagated in early eighteenth-century England by the architect and designer William Kent and his patron Lord Burlington, this architectural style also affected furniture design. The large shell motifs, classical masks, lion's paws, curling acanthus leaves, and running Vitruvian scroll on these tables are all characteristic of the style. Originally part of a larger set, these tables were specifically acquired for display in the dining room of Kirtlington Park, near Oxford, that is permanently installed at the Museum.
Pine, walnut, ash, various fruitwoods, maple, ebony, partly stained (marquetry veneer); gilt bronze 25 1/2 x 36 3/4 x 15 1/8 in. (64.8 x 93.3 x 38.4 cm)
Collector's Cabinet, ca. 1570–90 South German or Tyrolean

The facade of this portable collector's cabinet once could be closed by a fall front that provided a surface for writing or displaying the precious objects and collectibles formerly stored in the drawers and compartments. The marquetry is influenced by prints of Lorenz Stöer of Augsburg, especially his widely circulated pattern book and treatise Geometria et perspectiva, first published in 1567. The depiction of artificial ruins amid swampy landscapes served as a reminder of mortality and the eventually all-consuming power of nature.
Macassar ebony, amaranth, ivory
H. 50 1/4 in. (127.6 cm), W. 33 1/4 in. (84.5 cm), D. 14 in. (35.6 cm)
État (State) cabinet, 1926 Émile-Jacques Ruhlmann (French, 1879–1933)

Perhaps the most renowned French designer of his day, Émile-Jacques Ruhlmann is considered the primary exponent of high-style French taste following World War I. Aesthetic refinement, sumptuous materials, and impeccable construction techniques place his work on a par with the finest eighteenth-century furniture—a formal and ornamental source for many of his designs. This cabinet was specially commissioned from Ruhlmann by the Metropolitan in 1925, and is a variant of a similar cabinet shown at the Paris Exposition that was purchased by the French state, hence the model name État (State). Ruhlmann sometimes produced more than one example of his furniture models, varying the details of form and surface decoration according to the requirements of a commission. The complex pattern of the marquetry decoration (created from interlocking pieces of wood and ivory veneer) is reminiscent of a jigsaw puzzle.
Rosewood H. 12 in. (30.5 cm), W. 29 in. (73.7 cm), D. 9 3/4 in. (24.8 cm)
Stool, ca. 1925 Pierre Legrain (French, 1889–1929)

By the late nineteenth century, the enormously successful Parisian couturier Jacques-Antoine Doucet (1853–1929) had amassed a considerable fortune with which he acquired an important collection of French ancien-régime art and furniture, together with a formidable research library on the subject. In 1912, he sold the collection and moved, the following year, into an apartment in the avenue du Bois de Boulogne (now avenue Foch) which he decorated in an "advanced" manner, with furniture by many of the first generation of French Art Deco designers and paintings by modern French masters. To house his growing new collection, in the late 1920s he created (with the help of the architect Paul Ruaud) a small "studio" on a property he owned in the Paris suburb of Neuilly-Saint-James (at 33, rue Saint-James), completed around 1929. Its contents formed a checklist of the most important names of the day: furnishings by Marcel Coard, Eileen Gray, Paul Iribe, René-Jules Lalique, Pierre Legrain, Maurice Marinot, Gustav Miklos, Clement Rousseau, and Émile-Jacques Ruhlmann; artwork by Cézanne, de Chirico, Degas, Ernst, Derain, Manet, Matisse, Miró, Monet, Picabia, Picasso, Rousseau, Seurat, and Van Gogh. As a complement, Doucet also commissioned a modern library compiled under the direction of the writers André Suarès, André Breton, and Louis Aragon; each book was bound in an exquisite, one-of-a-kind binding by Legrain, Rose Adler, or Jeanne Langrand. On his death, Doucet left a number of his best known works to the French state, including the famous Snake Charmer by Rousseau, now in the Louvre. The Museum of Modern Art in New York purchased Picasso's Demoiselles d'Avignon, one of the seminal works of twentieth-century art. Much of his furniture now forms a very solid part of the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, while his library is housed at the Université de Paris. Doucet also had impressive collections of Asian and African art. This stool is an adaptation of a traditional African form used for both stools and headrests. Legrain clearly understood the principles and aesthetics of both modern and African art to a degree that most other designers of the period did not—perhaps the result of spending considerable time with Doucet and his collection.
Amboyna, ivory, sharkskin, silk H. 37 1/2 in. (95.3 cm), W. 47 1/2 in. (120.7 cm), D. 29 1/2 in. (74.9 cm)
David-Weill desk, ca. 1918–19 Émile-Jacques Ruhlmann
(French, 1879–1933)

This desk is based on French and English kidney-shaped desks of the late eighteenth century, known as "rognon" or "Carlton House" desks; the link to historical precedent would have been obvious—even desirable—to the client who commissioned it. David David-Weill (1871–1952), was an American-born French financier who worked at Lazard Frères, his family's bank. A serious art collector, upon his death he bequeathed more than 2,000 works to French and American museums. His greatest interest lay in the arts of eighteenth-century France, with which he decorated his house. Accordingly, Ruhlmann designed the desk specifically to harmonize with these surroundings, and David-Weill used a Louis XVI armchair with it. The aesthetic elegance, material sumptuousness, and high-quality craftsmanship of Ruhlmann's furniture holds its own against eighteenth-century masterpieces.
Designer: Charles-Auguste Questel (French, 1807–1888); Maker: Georges-Alphonse Jacob Desmalter (French, 1799–1870) France; Paris Oak, maple, ebony, ebony veneer, ebonized maple, snakewood, ivory, mother-of-pearl, silk velvet, gilt bronze, and brass 53 x 32 1/8 x 23 1/8 in. (134.6 x 81.6 x 58.7 cm)
Bookstand, 1839

The shaped aprons on the front and back of this bookstand bear the crowned initials FPO for Ferdinand Philippe, duc d'Orléans (1810—1842), oldest son of King Louis-Philippe. A noted patron of the arts with eclectic taste, the duke commissioned this striking black and white showpiece from the ébéniste Georges-Alphonse Jacob Desmalter, grandson of the celebrated eighteenth-century menuisier (joiner) Georges Jacob, in 1839. Most likely intended to display Les Offices de la Vierge, a lavish book of hours created for Ferdinand Philippe the previous year, the bookstand consists of a base, a bookcase with two openwork doors supported on baluster-shaped legs, and a sloping upper part with a book rest. A detailed mémoire by Desmalter indicates that the velvet-lined interior originally held a pillow for the missal. The top has a ratcheted mechanism that allows the central panel, embellished with marquetry of ivory, mother-of-pearl, and snakewood, to be raised. The historicizing design by Charles-Auguste Questel reflected contemporary interest in the Renaissance style. The sculptor Chabraux carved the elaborate decoration in ivory and ebonized maple. Before being sent to the Tuileries Palace, where it furnished the duke's salon d'attente, the bookstand was exhibited at the 1839 Exposition des Produits de l'Industrie in Paris.

Probably by François-Honoré-Georges Jacob-Desmalter (French, 1770–1841); silver mounts by Martin-Guillaume Biennais (French, 1764–1843); designed by Charles Percier (French, 1764–1838); decoration after drawings by Baron Dominique Vivant-Denon (French, 1747–1825) Mahogany, silver 35 1/2 x 19 3/4 x 14 3/4 in. (90.2 x 50.2 x 37.5 cm)
Coin cabinet, ca. 1809–19

Dominique Vivant-Denon was director of the Mint and of the Musée Napoleon (now the Musée du Louvre) as well as a collector and an arbiter of taste during the Napoleonic period. He accompanied the Egyptian campaign of 1798–99 as a draftsman and published his drawings as Voyage dans la Basse et la Haute Égypte (1802). The pylon at Ghoos, in Upper Egypt, served as the model for the top section of this medal cabinet, which was intended for Napoleon but remained in Denon's possession. The front and back panels are inlaid with a silver scarab flanked by uraei (sacred serpents) on lotus stalks. There are twenty-two drawers on each side of the cabinet, all inlaid with a silver bee. One wing is hinged to provide a pull.
Amboyna on pine with gilt-bronze mounts 68 1/4 x 34 1/2 x 14 7/8 in. (173.4 x 87.6 x 37.8 cm)
Desk (secrétaire), ca. 1804–15 French

Tradition has it that this secretary was presented by Napoleon to Maréchal Lannes, duc de Montebello (1769–1809). Although the handles and mounts are arranged to give the illusion of a chest of drawers, the upper part is a fall front that conceals a writing compartment.
Design attributed to Charles Percier (French, 1764–1838); mounts attributed to Martin-Guillaume Biennais (French, 1764–1843) Yew wood, gilt bronze H. 36 3/8 in. (92.4 cm), Diam. 19 1/2 in. (49.5 cm)
Washstand (athénienne or lavabo), 1804–14

This is one of two replicas made by Martin-Guillaume Biennais (the other is at Fontainebleau) of the washstand now in the Louvre, which was made for Napoleon between 1800 and 1804. This version is unfortunately missing its silver-gilt ewer on the middle shelf and a basin at the top. Charles Percier's drawing for the model is in the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris. The term athénienne originated in 1774 to describe a Neoclassical piece of furniture and continued in use into the Empire period.
Stamped by Adam Weisweiler (French, 1744–1820) Oak veneered with Japanese lacquer and European japanning, ebony, gilt-bronze mounts, violet brocatelle marble top H. 38 3/8 x W. 58 5/8 x D. 22 1/4 in. (97.5 x 148.9 x 56.5 cm)
Commode (commode à vantaux), ca. 1790

Weisweiler, who like a number of other ébénistes was born in the Rheinland, was one of the most talented and successful ébénistes in eighteenth-century Paris. Working in a refined Neoclassical manner, his pieces of furniture were sold through marchands-merciers both to the crown and to members of the French nobility as well as to foreign royalty. This commode, together with a matching pair of secretaries also in the Museum's collection, belonged to King Ferdinand IV of Naples and was used in his writing cabinet at Caserta.
Jean-Baptiste-Claude Sené (French, 1748–1803) ; Carved by Nicholas François Vallois; Possibly gilded by Chatard Beechwood, carved and painted, upholstered in pink silk 18 1/4 x 27 x 20 1/4 in. (46.4 x 68.6 x 51.4 cm)
Folding stool (one of a pair), 18th century (1786)

This curule folding stool was part of a set of sixty-four supplied for the royal palaces of Fontainebleau and Compiègne in 1786. Each consists of four cross members of lightly curving S-shape, the upper section fluted, the lower carved with ivy trails terminating in paw feet, and the central bosses carved with a rosette. The stretchers are carved with an ivy wreath tied by a ribbon. The overall design is based upon the Roman sella curulis, or magistrate's chair, ultimately derived from the X-frame of ancient Egypt. In post-Roman history, the sella curulis was given the role of episcopal faldistorium (the medieval Latin term for folding stool) as the Roman Catholic Church communicated its authority in Europe by adopting some of the trappings of power associated with the ancient empire. In French court etiquette of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the interplay of various forms of seating (or of standing in relation to sitting) was a visible demonstration of the hierarchical social structure and corresponded closely to liturgical roles in the church. Published memoirs of the duc de Saint-Simon, Madame de Sevigny, and others elucidate the important social function of chairs and stools such as this.
Maker: Guillaume Beneman (French, active 1785–died 1792); Decoration possibly by Gilles-François Martin, Étienne-Jean Forestier, or Pierre-Phillipe Thomire Forestier (1751–1843); Modelers of gilt-bronze mounts: Louis-Simon Boizot (1743–1809) and Pierre Michaud; Decorators: Tournay and Bardin; Gilder: Galle (ca. 1786–87); Factory director: Jean Hauré (active 1774–after 1796) Tulipwood, kingwood, holly, and mahogany veneered on oak; gilt-bronze, brèche d'Alep marble, leather 63 1/2 x 32 x 15 in. (161.3 x 81.3 x 38.1 cm)
Upright secretary (secrétaire à abattant), 18th century (ca. 1786–87)

This secrétaire à abattant (upright secretary or writing cabinet) was created by Guillaume Beneman, Parisian maître ébéniste to the crown (1784–92), in conjunction with a team of bronziers (gilt-bronze workers), ornamentistes (decorators), and a maître-doreur (gilder), all under the supervision of the woodcarver Jean Hauré (active 1774–96). Recognized as a leading exponent of the late Louis XVI style, Beneman has been discovered to have revised (adding more neo-Roman details such as legs in the shape of fasces), transformed, and added his stamp to a number of works by fellow ébéniste Joseph Stöckel (1743–1802). Designed for Louis XVI and later owned by Napoleon Bonaparte, this secrétaire formerly stood in the Palais de Compiègne and the Palais du Luxembourg. Its rectilinear shape and trellis marquetry in combination with the antique decorations of full-length gilded bronze caryatid mounts, panels with foliated Vitruvian scrolls, feet mounted with chased floral swags and pendants over anthemion, and keyhole escutcheons of laurel-leaf and berry wreaths, all contribute to its stylish Neoclassical appearance. Aspects of this piece, including its overall restraint, upright form, and corner caryatid figures, prefigure the Empire style in which Beneman later worked.
Oak veneered with ebony and black and gold Japanese lacquer, tulipwood, holly and black stained holly, amaranth, gilt-bronze mounts, white marble H. 57 x W. 43 x D. 16 in. (144.8 x 109.2 x 40.6 cm)
Secretary (secrétaire à abattant), 1783 Jean-Henri Riesener (French, 1734–1806)

Ordered from Riesener together with a matching commode and encoignure (corner cabinet) for use in Queen Marie Antoinette's cabinet intérieur at Versailles in 1783, the secretary and the commode were sent several years later to the Château of Saint Cloud. With their Japanese black and gold lacquer panels and exquisite gilt-bronze mounts, the secretary and the commode, now also in the Museum's collection, are among the best known pieces of royal furniture outside France. Based on their superb quality, the mounts have been attributed to Pierre Gouthière (1732–1813), the most famous Parisian bronzeworker of the late eighteenth century who became doreur du roi (gilder to the king) in 1767. Composed of intertwined garlands of naturalistic flowers that incorporate the queen's monogram MA in the center, the jewel-like quality is a triumph of prestidigitation. Unlike the ribbon-shaped handles on the front of the secretary that give access to the drawer in the frieze, those on the sides did not have a function and are purely decorative.
Oak veneered with bois satiné (bloodwood), holly, black stained holly, amaranth, berberis, stained sycamore, an7d green lacquered wood, gilt-bronze mounts H. 31 x W. 44 1/2 x D. 27 in. (78.7 x 113 x 68.6 cm)
Mechanical table, 1778 Jean-Henri Riesener (French, 1734–1806)

The inventory number painted underneath the top allows this table to be identified as the one delivered by Riesener for use of Queen Marie Antoinette to the Château of Versailles in 1778. It was one of many pieces of exquisite furniture ordered by the queen from Riesener and was commissioned specifically for use during the confinement and lying-in at the birth of her first child. The table has intricate latticework marquetry in simulated relief, enclosing sunflowers. At each end, a rectangular gilt-bronze plaque decorated with interlaced rose and laurel branches hides the mechanism that makes it possible to raise or lower the table's top by means of a crank.
mobilusso-shipping mobilusso-shipping
Oak; tulipwood, purplewood, holly, and sycamore veneer; porcelain and tôle painted to imitate porcelain; gilt bronze 43 1/3 x 40 1/2 x 12 7/8 in. (110.1 x 102.9 x 32.7 cm)
Secretary, ca. 1776 Attributed to Martin Carlin (French, ca. 1730–1785) Paris

The large Sèvres porcelain plaque bears the date letter for 1776 and the decorator's mark of Edme-François Bouillat (active 1758–81). The secretary stood in Empress Maria Feodorovna's boudoir next to her bedchamber at Pavlovsk Palace. The desk was probably purchased in 1782, when she and Grand Duke Paul visited "incognito" as comte and comtesse du Nord the Paris shop of the marchand-mercier Daguerre. It is a document par excellence of the preeminent cultural influence of France throughout Europe during the ancien régime. A French side table of about 1785–90 made by Jean-Henri Riesener (1734–1806), from the collection of Maria Feodorovna and once kept in the Anichkov Palace in Saint Petersburg, is also in the Metropolitan Museum's collection (1977.102.8).
French (Paris); Made in Paris, France Oak and plaster, painted and gilded; bronze-gilt, mirror glass, oak flooring, etc. H. 25 ft. 6 in. (777.2 cm), W. 10 ft. 1/2 in. (306.1 cm), D. 11 ft. 8 1/2 in. (356.9 cm)
Boiserie from the Hôtel de Cabris, 18th century (ca. 1775–78, and later)

The Hôtel de Cabris in Grasse, from which this room was taken, is now the local archaeological and historical museum. It was built between 1771 and 1774 for Jean Paul de Clapiers, marquis de Cabris, after designs by a little-known Milanese architect, Giovanni Orello. The paneling, dating from 1775–78, was carved, painted, and gilded in Paris, then installed in a small reception room on the main floor. The four pairs of double doors are remarkable for the carved motifs of smoking incense burners, interlaced laurel sprays, and torches, exemplifying the sobriety of the Neoclassical style. The white marble chimneypiece, contemporary with the room, comes from the Hôtel de Greffulhe in Paris.

Stamped by Jean-François Oeben (French, 1721–1763) and Roger Vandercruse Lacroix (French, 1728–1799) Oak veneered with mahogany, kingwood, and tulipwood with marquetry of mahogany, rosewood, holly, and various other woods, gilt-bronze mounts H. 27 1/2 x W. 32 1/2 x D. 18 3/8 in. (69.9 x 82.6 x 46.7 cm)
Mechanical table, ca. 1761–63

Oeben, born in Heinsberg near Aachen, was known for his naturalistic floral marquetry and for his skills as a mécanicien which are apparent in the elaborate mechanism of this table with its sliding top. He made a number of such sophisticated tables. This particular one, with the unusual pierced openings in the curving legs, was intended for Madame de Pompadour. The main charge of her coat of arms, a tower, appears at the top of the gilt-bronze mount at each corner. The table was left unfinished at the time of Oeben's death in 1761 and completed by his brother-in-law Roger Vandercruse known as Lacroix.
Stamped by Claude-Louis Burgat (French, 1717–before 1782) Carved and gilded beechwood H. 34 1/2 x W. 23 X D. 22 in. (87.6 x 58.4 x 55.9 cm)
Armchair (bergère en cabriolet) (one of a pair), ca. 1760–70

This transitional armchair combines the curvilinear design of the Rococo style with motifs that were widely used during the Neoclassical period, such as the continuous border of overlapping medallions on the arm supports and the guilloche pattern on the seat rails. The closed area between the arms and the seat, together with the concave back, classify it as a bergère en cabriolet, one of the new types of chair introduced during the eighteenth century that expressed the increasing interest in comfort and informality.
Stamped by Bernard van Risenburgh (French, after 1696–ca. 1766) Oak veneered with ebony and Chinese Coromandel lacquer, cherry, and purple wood, gilt-bronze mounts, Spanish brocatelle marble H. 35 7/8 x W. 33 7/8 x D. 26 1/8 in. (91.1 x 86 x 66.4 cm)
Corner cabinet (encoignure) (one of a pair), 1745–49

This corner cabinet is veneered with panels cut from a late seventeenth-century Chinese lacquer screen. This colorful lacquer with its incised decorations is usually called Coromandel lacquer after the name of the English East India Company's trading post on the Coromandel Coast of India. Van Risenburgh frequently used such pieces of lacquer, supplied to him by various marchands-merciers, and he cleverly hid the edge of the panels behind scrolling gilt-bronze mounts.
Attributed to André-Charles Boulle (French, 1642–1732) Tortoiseshell, engraved brass, and ebony on oak; gilt-bronze
Armoire, ca. 1710

Attributed to André-Charles Boulle, the preeminent cabinetmaker under Louis XIV, the armoire has marquetry decoration in a combination of première partie (a tortoiseshell ground inlaid with brass) and contre partie (a brass ground inlaid with tortoiseshell). The masks of the mythological wind gods at the corners of the door panels may have been added at a later date. The interiors of armoires were provided with fixed shelves and sliding drawers not necessarily intended for storage of clothes or linens. Sometimes they held books and prints, silver plate, or other valued possessions that could be displayed when the doors were opened. This armoire has the vestiges of three shelves.
André-Charles Boulle (French, 1642–1732) Walnut veneered with ebony and marquetry of engraved brass and tortoiseshell, gilt-bronze mounts, verd antique marble top H. 34 1/2 x W. 50 1/2 x D. 24 3/4 in. (87.6 x 128.3 x 62.9 cm)
Commode, ca. 1710–32

This commode is of the same design and construction as the pair that was made by Boulle for the bedchamber of Louis XIV at the Grand Trianon in 1708. Although this model was copied a number of times during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, this example appears to be an early version made in Boulle's own workshop. Appointed to the ébéniste du roi (royal cabinetmaker) in 1672, Boulle did not invent but perfected the marquetry technique of brass and tortoiseshell that has been named for him. So-called Boulle work is created by glueing together sheets of tortoiseshell and brass which are then cut according to the desired design. Once cut, the layers can be combined to form either a tortoiseshell ground inlaid with engraved brass or a brass ground inlaid with tortoiseshell, known as first part and counterpart respectively. André-Charles Boulle was one of the first cabinetmakers to make effective use of gilt-bronze mounts. The mounts not only protect vulnerable parts of the carcass but also add a great deal of sculptural beauty to the piece. The three-dimensional acanthus-leaf scroll mount on the upper drawer beautifully echoes the two-dimensional design in the brass and tortoiseshell marquetry. Particularly noteworthy are the female figures at the corners, with their feathery matted wings contrasting with their highly burnished faces.
Attributed to Jan van Mekeren (Dutch, 1658–1733) Dutch; Amsterdam Oak veneered with kingwood, tulipwood, rosewood, ebony, olive wood, holly, and other marquetry woods H. 70 1/4 in. (178.5 cm)
Cabinet on stand, ca. 1700–1710

This cabinet is the smallest but most pictorial of seven similar known examples attributed to cabinetmaker van Mekeren. Specializing in the production of luxurious marquetry furniture for Amsterdam patricians, van Mekeren excelled in the skillful use of different woods to create a refined polychromy. Dutch floral marquetry may well have been developed about 1650 by Pierre Gole (ca. 1620–1684), a cabinetmaker from the Netherlands who worked at the French court. This glorious piece of furniture, with its large bouquets of naturalistic flowers echoing contemporary still-life paintings, represents the culmination of this marquetry tradition.
Alexandre-Jean Oppenordt (Dutch, active France, 1639–1715), maker; Jean Bérain (French, 1640–1711), engraver France (Paris) Oak, pine, and walnut veneered with ebony, rosewood, and marquetry of engraved brass on tortoiseshell; gilt bronze, steel H. 30 3/8 in. (77.2 cm), W. 41 3/4 in. (106 cm), D. 23 3/8 in. (59.4 cm)
Writing desk (bureau brisé), ca. 1685

This desk, with a folding top that opens to reveal a small writing surface, is one of the few surviving pieces commissioned for Louis XIV's personal use. It was one of a pair intended for the king's petit cabinet, a small private room in the north wing of Versailles. The decoration on the top incorporates such royal symbols as the crown, the crossed L monogram, and the mask of Apollo, the sun god to whom Louis XIV likened himself. The four corners display openwork fleurs-de-lis, symbolizing the French monarchy, with lyres, the musical instrument of Apollo, between them. The desk belongs to a type of furniture called bureau brisé (literally, "broken desk"). The top is hinged to open, or "break," along its width to reveal a fitted interior, veneered with Brazilian rosewood, that consists of a cramped writing surface with four drawers at the back. The bureau brisé originated in 1669 and continued to be made until the early eighteenth century, when a large flat-topped writing table, the bureau plat, replaced it.
Marcel Breuer (American, born Hungary, 1902–1981) Oak, wool upholstery 37 1/4 x 22 1/4 in. (94.5 x 56.5 cm)
Armchair, 1922

Designed while he was a student at the Bauhaus, this chair is Breuer's solution to the problem of creating beautiful, comfortable, functional seating with minimal materials and at minimal expense. The structure of the chair, with its un-upholstered wood frame and ergonomically angled back and seat rests, is designed to reduce spinal pressure, while at the same time paring all structural and decorative elements to an absolute minimum. Stylistically, the outward projection of portions of the frame suggests the influence of the Dutch movement De Stijl, especially Theo van Doesburg (1883–1931), who visited the Bauhaus several times in the early 1920s. Produced at the Bauhaus cabinet workshop continually from 1922 to 1925, Breuer's chair proved to be an early and successful example of the school's desire to ally art and industry and to create design prototypes for mass production.
Made by Frank Lloyd Wright (American, 1867–1959) White oak 33 1/4 x 37 x 29 in. (84.5 x 94 x 73.7 cm)
Armchair (from a set), ca. 1902–3

This armchair was designed for Francis W. Little's summer house on Lake Minnetonka, Minnesota. Frank Lloyd Wright arranged the furniture and fixtures as part of the overall architectural composition of the living room.
Wood, metal H. 70 1/8 in. (178 cm), D. 37 in. (94 cm)
Pedal harp, 1891–95 Lyon & Healy, Chicago

The harp is the firm's model 23, which was introduced in 1895 and was produced in this style by about 1913. It is one of the earliest items made of this model and the 115th harp the company had built since 1889. It is a semi-grand harp with seven double action pedals and an eights pedal to control a swell at the back of the soundboard to manipulate the volume. The harp has forty-five strings for a compass from CC to e"" (second position). Later the company resumed the production of model 23 with forty-seven strings and different decoration. The pedals can be set in three positions and the associated double action raises the basic pitch of a string by one or by two half steps by means of a twin forked disk mechanism. If the pedals rest in the top position, no mechanical action takes place and the seven strings per octave deliver the scale C-flat major. Pressed to the second position (the pedal can be arrested in a lateral notch), the mechanism raises the pitch by a half step, resulting in the scale C major, if all pedals are pressed. Pressing the pedals to the bottom (third position), the scale switches to C-sharp major. The pedals for the left foot serve the notes D, C, and B, the right foot the notes E, F, G, and A. This way, the double action harp has astounding playing technical possibilities superior to those of the single action harp, the hook harp, and the chromatic harps with double or triple stringing. Composers like François-Adrien Boildieu, Camille Saint-Saens, and in particular Claude Debussy, but also Richard Wagner and Peter Tchaikovsky have much contributed to expand the technical possibilities of the double action harp. Lyon & Healy went into business in 1864 as publisher; in 1885, the company added the manufacturing of all kinds of musical instruments, and in 1889 it began building harps. Within a few decades, Lyon & Healy evolved into one of the best harp makers in America and displaced the company Rudolph Wurlitzer, which built harps between 1909 and 1936, also in Chicago. Lyon & Healy became globally successful as a result of the fine musical qualities and the outstanding workmanship of its harps. However, all basic technical innovations were developed long before: the forked disk mechanism by Sebastian Erard (1794) and the double action of the pedals by Charles Groll/S. Erard (1807/10). The eights pedal for operating a swell shutter at the back of the sound body was invented by Jean-Baptist Krumpholz (1742–1790) and first built in 1786 by Jean Henri Naderman. It was the finer points of workmanship and beauty of sound that led Lyon & Healy to its great success.
Attributed to Duncan Phyfe (Scottish, 1768–1854) New York City Mahogany, pine, ash 38 1/2 x 74 x 24 1/2 in. (97.8 x 188 x 62.2 cm)
Meridienne (Couch), 1837

Bold, robust forms and a heavy reliance on highly figured mahogany and rosewood veneers characterize Grecian Plain Style furniture such as this couch. This style would have been found in fashionable New York townhouses of the 1830s in the most up-to-date Greek Revival taste. In 1837, Phyfe's manufactory is believed to have produced a pair of these couches as well as stools, benches, and side chairs for prominent New York attorney Samuel Foote's elegant home at 678 Broadway.
Charles-Honoré Lannuier (French, 1779–1819) New York City Mahogany veneer, gilded gesso, vert antique, gilded brass with white pine, yellow poplar 31 1/8 x 36 x 17 3/4 in. (79.1 x 91.4 x 45.1 cm)
Card table, 1817

This superlative card table is one of two from a signature series of gilded sculptural pieces by New York's resident French ébéniste of the Federal period, Charles-Honoré Lannuier. The tables are remarkable not only for their exquisite beauty but also because they are signed and dated masterpieces descended in the family of the original owner, Stephen Van Rensselaer IV of Albany. The tables are believed to be part of a larger commission by the New York City merchant William Bayard that included a nearly identical pair of figural card tables and two pier tables with gilded swan supports, wedding gifts for his daughters Harriet and Maria, who in 1817 married Stephen Van Rensselaer IV and Duncan Pearsall Campbell. The invoice for the Campbell tables survives, revealing how expensive furniture from Lannuier's shop was. The pair of card tables was priced at $250, and the pier table at $300, astonishing sums when a journeyman cabinetmaker's wage was roughly a dollar a day. The carved caryatids on these tables are bold and forthright and meant to attract attention from across the room. The figures, with their stylized inner wings, relate to the winged orb of Egypt, the symbol of the rising sun, and signify the adaptation of ancient Egyptian motifs in early nineteenth-century design. The cross brace bears Lannuier's inscription: "Fait a new-york Le 1 May 1817" (Made in New York, May 1, 1817).
Attributed to Duncan Phyfe (Scottish, 1768–1854) New York City Mahogany, satinwood, tulip poplar, pine 95 1/2 x 48 1/2 x 21 1/4 in. (242.6 x 121.3 x 53.1 cm)
Cylinder desk and bookcase, 1815–20

Without a label, signature, or stamp to identify the maker, curators cannot be completely certain which cabinetmaker made a particular object. However, through the process of attributing a piece of furniture, they can tentatively associate the work with a specific shop tradition based on aspects of design, materials, and construction techniques. The exacting craftsmanship, first-quality woods, and sleek interpretation of the English Regency style found in this desk and bookcase suggest Phyfe's manufactory. Furthermore, the spiral-fluted ellipsoids above the tapered legs are found on a labeled Phyfe worktable in the Winterthur Museum collection. Such links to marked works help to reinforce an attribution.

white pine, ash, marble, lead, brass 36 x 49 1/2 x 22 in. (91.4 x 125.7 x 55.9 cm)

Pier table, 1815–19 Charles-Honoré Lannuier (French, 1779–1819) ,
New York City Rosewood

The gilded caryatids on this example make it the most overtly Grecian of Lannuier's square pier tables. Based on the carved marble figures of the Erechtheum on the Acropolis in Athens, the caryatids were cast in lead and treated with a gilded surface. They may have been made in a mold taken from a French bronze lighting device of a type similar in quality to the imported bronze clocks that Lannuier is known to have sold in his store. The gilded surface of the paw feet, brass ornaments along the apron, and rosettes along the base complement the figures in a pleasing manner.
Attributed to the Workshop of Duncan Phyfe (American, 1770–1854) New York City Mahogany, gilded brass with yellow poplar, cherry, ash 32 1/2 x 17 7/8 x 16 1/4 in. (82.6 x 45.4 x 41.3 cm)
Side chair, ca. 1810

This chair is part of a large suite of furniture that includes a sofa, a pair of armchairs, ten side chairs, and a pair of footstools. It was once owned by Thomas Cornell Pearsall, a wealthy New York merchant and shipowner. The attribution to the famed furniture maker Duncan Phyfe is based on a Pearsall family tradition and is recorded in an inscription stamped on the inside of the seat rails of the sofa and several chairs.
Attributed to Samuel McIntire (American, 1757–1811) Salem, Massachusetts Mahogany, ebony, ash, birch, white pine 37 7/8 x 27 7/8 x 18 in. (96.2 x 70.8 x 45.7 cm)
Side chair, ca. 1794

This vase-back chair, originally part of a large set, was made for the wealthy Salem merchant Elias Hasket Derby. The chair's overall design is based on plate 2 of George Hepplewhite's Cabinet-Maker and Upholsterer's Guide (London, 1788), but it has been enriched considerably by the addition of relief carving to parts of the back and the front legs. The carved grape clusters in the lunette at the base of the splat and suspended from bowknots at the top of each leg are a motif traditionally associated with the work of Salem's renowned architect and carver Samuel McIntire, who also was responsible for designing Elias Hasket Derby's spectacular Neoclassical mansion in Salem, completed in 1794.
Pine 48 x 26 in. (121.9 x 66 cm)
Looking glass, ca. 1775 American

This looking glass with frame in the full Rococo style is one of the rarest of American furniture forms. The frame is carved out of white pine, a favorite material for American carvers. It was painted white (the original finish survives in nearly perfect condition), and would probably have been mounted on a brightly colored wall where it would have given the effect of having been fashioned free-hand out of plaster. This style was fashionable among Philadelphia's wealthy merchant class in the 1760s and 1770s and derives from London work of the mid-century. The frame bears the printed label of John Elliot, a retailer of looking glasses.
Attributed to Thomas Affleck (British, active in America, 1740–1795) American; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Mahogany, northern white cedar 37 x 22 1/2 x 23 in. (94 x 57.2 x 58.4 cm)
Side chair, ca. 1770

This chair is part of a large set that was made in the shop of Thomas Affleck in Philadelphia in 1770–71 for General John Cadwalader's magnificent townhouse. It is en suite with a firescreen (49.51a,b).
Mahogany, tulip poplar, yellow pine 91 3/4 x 44 5/8 x 24 5/8 in. (233.1 x 113.4 x 62.6 cm)
High chest of drawers, ca. 1762–75 American

The naturalistic carving on this tall chest is the work of highly skilled London-trained craftsmen who came to Philadelphia before the Revolutionary War to seek their fortunes. Characteristically, these makers took motifs from London pattern books and rearranged them to suit local taste. Thus, the scroll pediment with finial bust and the cornice moldings were taken directly from illustrations in Thomas Chippendale's famous Gentleman and Cabinet-Maker's Director (1762, 1982.1133). The serpent-and-swan motif in the central bottom drawer is from Thomas Johnson's New Book of Ornaments (1762, 1985.1099).
Mahogany, maple, cedar, birch, white pine 36 3/8 x 57 1/2 x 26 in. (92.4 x 146.1 x 66 cm)
Settee, 1760–90 American

This settee and its mate are the only known fully upholstered Massachusetts settees with carved cabriole legs. They are part of a small group of pieces of Boston Rococo furniture with asymmetrical C-scroll and foliate knee carving. The carved motif was apparently adapted directly from a set of English chairs that were owned by one William Phillips in Boston in the eighteenth century.
Mahogany, maple, chestnut, white pine 27 3/4 x 33 1/4 x 16 1/2 in. (70.5 x 84.5 x 41.9 cm)
Card table, 1760–85 Newport, Rhode Island

This example of the classic Newport blockfront card table is perfectly proportioned and finely executed. The distinctive manner in which the knees and feet are carved is associated with the famous local maker John Goddard (1724–1785).
Mahogany 30 3/8 x 34 1/4 x 22 1/2 in. (77.2 x 87 x 57.2 cm)
Dressing table, 1740–50 Newport, Rhode Island

A classic example of the Queen Anne style as interpreted by Newport cabinetmakers, this dressing table has cabriole legs that terminate in delicate "slipper" feet and a carved shell that is fully integrated into the scrolls of the skirt. The bat-wing shape of the brass drawer pulls recalls Asian designs.
Black walnut, poplar, maple, hickory, eastern white pine 62 1/2 x 39 1/4 x 21 3/4 in. (158.8 x 99.7 x 55.2 cm)
High chest of drawers, 1700–1730 Boston, Massachusetts

A new form introduced in the 1690s, the early Baroque high chest of drawers was a stylish addition to the colonial home. High chests were used for the storage of textiles and clothing, and were often made en suite with a matching dressing table. On this example, the scalloped skirt, curved stretchers, and six turned legs bring lightness and movement to the form. The large, smooth surfaces of the drawer fronts of the upper and lower cases were achieved by abandoning the panel-and-frame tradition in favor of dovetailed-board construction. Above the turned legs, thin veneers of figured maple create a facade that is unified and visually compelling.
Painted yellow poplar, red oak, white pine 61 1/2 x 60 1/4 x 23 in. (156.2 x 153 x 58.4 cm)
Kast, 1690–1720 American; New York City or vicinity
Painted with large pendants of fruit in niches, this piece represents both a type of cupboard—a kast—and a form of decoration derived from Dutch prototypes. The ornament, executed in a trompe l'oeil technique known as grisaille with only two pigments, lead white and carbon black, simulates in paint the opulent Baroque carved pendants and festoons popular in the Netherlands during the second half of the seventeenth century on interior woodwork and furniture. Kasten were used for storage of linens, and the pomegranate and quince at the center of the door panels—symbols of fertility and marriage—suggest that this may have been a dowry piece.
Sweet gum, possibly mahogany veneer, yellow poplar 35 1/4 x 33 3/4 x 24 in. (89.5 x 85.7 x 61 cm)
Desk-on-frame, 1690–1720 American; New York City or vicinity
An early inscription in Dutch inside the lid recording a business transaction points to a New York origin for this desk, which is reputed to have been found in Brooklyn in the early 1900s. The use of gumwood, a wood that found favor in New York City and environs for furniture and interior woodwork during the early decades of the eighteenth century, supports such an attribution. No comparable piece is known. Although this desk was originally owned by a New York family of Dutch ancestry, the turnings appear to derive from French prototypes, and it may well have been made by a Huguenot-émigré craftsman working in New York.
Painted white oak, red oak 70 x 67 x 25 in. (177.8 x 170.2 x 63.5 cm)
Kast, 1650–1700 American; New York City or vicinity
A kast is a distinctive type of cupboard that was made in the New York—New Jersey area settled by the Dutch. Strongly architectural in design, the kast derived from Dutch prototypes and was made in America until the early 1800s. The most important piece of furniture in the home, it was probably often a dowry gift. The striking painted surface on this kast simulates stone and is highly unusual. Certain features of the construction and design details reflect, as does the form of the kast itself, Continental rather than English influences. This kast, one of a small number in the seventeenth-century style to have survived, is a rare example of joined oak furniture from the New York area. When the Museum acquired this piece, a brown surface film of tobacco smoke residue and grime and a discolored finish layer below almost entirely obscured the kast's remarkable faux-stone painted decoration.
Oak 36 1/2 x 23 x 16 3/4 in. (92.7 x 58.4 x 42.5 cm) )
Joined armchair, 1650–1700 Essex County, Massachusetts
This armchair is massively proportioned, with thick, slightly tapering square columns on the front posts and solid, rectangular panels in the back. It was made by a joiner using the frame-and-panel method of construction. The severe outlines are softened somewhat by the slight crook to the arms and by the series of carved arches and lunettes in the upper sections of the back. Originally, a stuffed cushion would have graced the hard plank seat. Armchairs such as this were known as "great chairs" due to their large size and ceremonial quality—they were reserved for heads of household and important guests.