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Boulle furniture refers to one of two things: to original pieces created by the immensely influential French ébéniste, or cabinet maker, André Charles Boulle, who lived from 1642 to 1732, or to later pieces produced in the style of Boulle.
Boulle furniture is characterised by the use of so-called Boulle marquetry or Boulle work: marquetry inlays combining tortoiseshell, pewter, brass, and ebony, often incorporated into exceptionally intricate and beautiful designs. Moreover, Boulle furniture is most often adorned with ormolu, or gilt bronze, mounts, typically in the style of the late Baroque or early Rococo—the period during which Boulle lived.
The popularity of Boulle furniture increased dramatically in 1720 when Boulle’s designs were published, and original Boulle pieces, as well as pieces created in his style, remain highly desired by collectors to this day.
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