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André-Charles Boulle's furniture had elaborate inlays and was much copied

André-Charles Boulle (1642-1732)

Armoire c.1700

RCIN 21642

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Tall rectangular armoire, inlaid with tortoiseshell and brass boullework, with gilt bronze mounts. Two panelled doors, each in three sections; the upper sections centred with gilt bronze masks, the lower sections with gilt bronze rosettes and the central

Armoire ©

Monumental wardrobes (armoires) of this type were intended principally for display and are among the most magnificent and harmonious of Boulle’s creations. The large flat surfaces provided a perfect vehicle for the display of Boulle’s extraordinary skills as a designer and technician, allowing him to combine intricate marquetry of rich materials and finely modelled gilt bronze mounts (which he also designed and made) within a grand architectural framework.

George IV had a particular fondness for Boulle furniture but it was not until he began the refurbishment of Windsor Castle in the 1820s that he acquired this piece as well as another wardrobe of similar large dimensions, pictured here.