Superb Napoleon III Ebonized Bronze Marble Cabinet c. 1870
SUPERB NAPOLEON III EBONIZED AND GILT BRONZE MOUNTED CABINET
Item # 606ILY25
This exceptional cabinet is preserved in truly remarkable condition - where ebonized surfaces will generally fade rather unattractively and brass work tends to dislodge from shrinking and moisture, this piece has remained relatively untouched by the ravages of age. A most powerful piece, the use of total black in the surface, interior, and the original marble create a very effective contrast against the brilliantly gilded bronze mounts. These are of excellent quality throughout, each finely chiseled and cast with great care. The heavy moldings are cast in solid bronze, these stepping down the levels from the marble to the case, then surrounding and framing every major panel and the bevelled corners over the stepped out gadrooned molding over the feet. A mask of Bacchus is surrounded by foliage in the lower center of the apron, flanked by scrolling that perfectly follows the outline of the brass stringer inlay. Each canted foot is highlighted with a squared acanthus rosette. The sides of the case are embellished with large and carefully cast celebrations of science and medicine. Heavy original glass is set in both doors, these opening on tiny pins to reveal the interior (where shelves should at some point be installed). The cabinet is broken down easily into smaller parts by simply removing the steel bolts affixing the crest and the base to the center of the cabinet - despite being rather standard in size for a cabinet, the craftsman has gone to great lengths to make the piece easily transportable without risk of damage, a careful approach that no doubt has contributed to the remarkable state of preservation we enjoy in the cabinet today.
For serious collectors of very fine works of the First and Second Empire, this is an exceptional cabinet in every regard.
Measurements: 47 1/8” H x 55” W x 17 3/4” D
Marble top original with age appropriate scratches/discolorations and light chipping along edges. Veneer loss to back left foot, other scattered surface losses, some fading to the ebonized surface. Some light buckling of brass inlays here and there, overall remaining very stable and in excellent condition. Interior is missing shelves - you will have to have a local craftsman make these. No key.