Pair of ormolu and hardstone mounted ebonised wood cabinets


This pair of cabinets is a superb example of late 19th Century design, utilising a wide range of luxury materials, including inlaid ‘pietra dura’ hardstone and gilt bronze.


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The cabinets in this pair are crafted from ebonised wood mounted with ormolu, or gilt bronze, and inlaid with hardstone, a process commonly called pietra dura. The style of the cabinets is wonderfully eclectic, the decorative forms and techniques influenced by the Renaissance (during which inlaid stone was a popular mode of decoration) and the Neoclassical, as evinced by the ormolu mounts.

Each cabinet is of traditional form, featuring a body with a shallow depth and flared concave sides. The central door of each is profusely adorned with polychrome inlaid hardstones, the multi-coloured stones shaped and arranged into compositions of floral sprays. These floral arrangements are bounded within moulded ormolu frames, while further ormolu mounts adorn the spaces of the door between the inlaid stone. The lockable door opens to reveal a cabinet of four shelves.

The shaped apron of each cabinet is adorned with finely wrought ormolu mounts and inlaid with bands of brass. The concave sides of the cabinets are similarly decorated, with each side set with a superbly crafted ormolu mount depicting an assemblage of items, such as trumpets and tied ribbons. The uprights that delineate the sides from the front are similarly adorned with ormolu and inlaid brass, while the entablature above is mounted with friezes of ormolu anthemia. Each cabinet is surmounted by a marble plateau.


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


112 cm / 44.1 inches
135 cm / 53.1 inches
43 cm / 16.9 inches


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