Posted 3 years ago
This miniature chest was probably built as a "piece de maitrise", meaning proof work for a young apprentice in the furniture trade to show his craft to the master craftsman training him. It is made of at least 4 different woods, all keyed from "l'ame" (the soul) of the chest, seen here on the top's center after the marble cover has been removed. The various pieces have been sculptured, then hand fitted and are glued with an ancient mix of red clay that has provided strong enough to last from circa 1785 when this was made to this day, with very little repair necessary over time. The marble top is also original but was repaired. The drawers have darkened bronze pulls. The marquetry is delightful, especially on each front leg where there are several exotic-wood inlays. This chests decorates another of the same period inside a bedroom on front of a trumeau surmounted by a period "eau forte" (acid) engraving, and serves as a refuge for a collection of mother of pearl clothes buttons.