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A French Inlaid Cushion Mirror
France, circa 1860

A very fine French 19th century inlaid cushion mirror in the Louis Quatorze style. The bolection moulded frame exquisitely inlaid with metallic arabesque designs in the manner of Jean Berain.

The intricate inlaid work of this mirror recalls the designs of late 17th century French cabinetmakers working during the reign of Louis XIV. One of the most popular decorative styles of this period was known as boulle work, which was a combination of tortoiseshell and metal inlay, often in brass or pewter. This particular style was named after André-Charles Boulle (1642-1732), who is often described as le jojailler du meuble, or the furniture jeweller. One champion of this style was Boulle’s contemporary, Pierre Gole (1620-84). Gole was Dutch by birth but moved to Paris at an early age where he established a thriving workshop that specialised in marquetry work of tortoiseshell and brass.

The inlay features a repeating pattern of scrolling arabesques and abstract interpretations of foliage, which were popularised in designs by artists including Jean Berain (1640-1711), who served as dessinateur de la Chambre et du cabinet du Roi, or designer of the King’s chamber and office. Berain exerted considerable influence in contemporary taste and supplied elaborate decorative schemes for the interiors at the Hôtel de Mailly, for Beauvais tapestries, and for the private apartments of Philippe d’Orléans and the king’s illegitimate daughter Françoise-Marie de Bourbon at the Palais-Royal.

Height 91.00cm (35.83 inches)
Width 81.00cm (31.89 inches)


Reference - O04.47