Ormolu mounted pietra dura and Boulle credenza


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This fine cabinet is crafted from ebonised wood inlaid with brass and features a wide variety of decorative forms, including ormolu mounts, hardstone inlays—or pietra dura—and Boulle style marquetry, wherein brass and tortoiseshell are interlaid to produce superb scrolling forms.

The cabinet, which is raised on ormolu mounted toupie feet, features a central cupboard flanked by twin curved glazed doors. The central door of the cabinet is decorated to the centre with a floral bouquet composed of inlaid polychrome hardstones—the technique known as pietra dura. The bouquet is encompassed by an ormolu foliate border. Each corner of the door is set with an ormolu cartouche infilled with Boulle première-partie marquetry of brass inlaid into tortoiseshell. The combination of Boulle marquetry with pietra dura inlays is highly unusual in furniture of this period.

The flanking side cabinets feature glazed doors, each opening to reveal two velvet lined shelves. The top frieze of the cabinet is set with a trio of geometrical ormolu mounts interspersed with ormolu rosettes, while the uprights between the three doors are delineated with engaged columns with ormolu Corinthian capitals and bases. The ebonised wood throughout is inlaid with linear brass banding—visible, for instance, in the delicate frames that encompass the glazing on the side doors.

The credenza is a superb example of late 19th Century French design and its tendency towards eclecticism, incorporating as it does a whole host of decorative techniques and materials.


Country of Origin
Date of Manufacture
Late 19th Century
Late 19th Century
Boulle, Renaissance
Brass, Ebonised Wood, Glass, Hardstone, Ormolu (Gilt Bronze), Pietra Dura, Tortoiseshell
Black, Gold, Multi-coloured


114 cm / 44.9 inches
178 cm / 70.1 inches
49 cm / 19.3 inches


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