This is a fine example of the work produced by Cressent, the famous ébéniste employed by the Duke of Orléans, Louis XIV’s nephew and regent when Louis XV was a minor. Cressent himself described the medal cabinet, which consists of two parts, as ‘worthy to stand in the houses of the greatest lovers of curiosities’. The upper part, in cupboard form, has two doors behind which are two sets of carefully numbered narrow drawers. The lower part, or stand, has a full-width drawer and a writing-slide to ‘hold cards with medals’, as the ébéniste himself said.
The main decorative motif, a magnificent piece of sculpture, appears on the upper part and shows three putti operating a coining-press that stands on a table. Two medals hang from this sculpted table: one with the bust of Louis XV; the other with a frontal image of the Dauphin and his wife, Marie-Joseph of Saxe. These are the obverse and reverse of a Louis XV medal that was minted in 1747 to commemorate the Dauphin’s second marriage. The entire motif is framed by herringbone marquetry and a bronze border, outside which are six pairs of medallions showing twelve Roman emperors. The legs are decorated with chased gilt bronze, showing busts of ancient warriors at the top and ending in claw feet.
Baron Alphonse Rothschild Collection. Acquired by Calouste Gulbenkian through Hans Stiebel, New York, 1948.
H. 191 cm; W. 143 cm; D. 52 cm
These cookies are used to enhance your browsing experience, security and our website's performance, allowing you to access the main features of the website. Therefore, they are always enabled. This type of cookies includes cookies that allow you to be remembered as you browse the website during a single session.
These cookies collect information about the use of the website to improve the services provided and to evaluate the performance of the website. Some of these cookies may be used to test pages or the functionality of the website by measuring the reaction of users. These cookies may be our own and / or owned by third parties.
These cookies are third-party cookies that allow to connect to social media and share multimedia content from our website on those networks. Some of these cookies help us to adapt advertising outside of our website to the interests of the users. By disabling these cookies, it will no longer be possible to directly share our content in any social media
For more information about cookies and the processing of your personal data, please see the Privacy and Cookies Policy. You can change your cookie settings at any time through the link at the bottom of the page.