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Royal Jewel Cabinet Cupboard

This is a cupboard. It was designed by Jean-Charles-Francois Leloy and Alexandre Évariste Fragonard and mount made by Louis-Honoré Boquet and Boullemier le jeune (the younger), probably Antoine-Gabriel Boullemier (French, 1781-1842) and Boullemier l'ainé (the elder), probably Francois Antoine Boullemier (French, 1773-1838) and executor: Pierre Huard and production directed by Alexandre Brongniart and Vicomte de La Rochefoucauld and painted by Pierre Huard, Riton and Antoine Béranger and manufactured by Godin (probably the younger) and Sèvres Porcelain Manufactory and patron: Charles X, King of France. It is dated 1824–26 and we acquired it in 1990. Its medium is mahogany; hard paste porcelain, vitreous enamel, gold leaf, platinum,verre églomisé; bronze, gold. It is a part of the Product Design and Decorative Arts department.

A gift from Charles X of France to Francis I of Naples in 1830, shortly before the latter died, this cabinet is the result of technical innovation, superb design and execution skills, and artistic inspiration. The large hard-paste porcelain plaques, very difficult to fire, are mounted in a gilt-bronze framework rather than on a wood frame. The size of the plaques and their detailed painted ornament were only possible by technical advances introduced in the 19th century. The Sèvres archives contain templates, drawings, and accounts related to the cabinet, including how much and for what each skilled specialist was paid, as well as comments by design director Alexandre Brongniart. Brongniart’s selection of decoration reinforces the piece’s function as a jewel cabinet: detailed depictions of jewelry and other valuables appear with scenes of Venus and Psyche at their dressing tables.

This object was bequest of Reverend Alfred Duane Pell and transferred from National Museum of American History. It is credited Bequest of the Reverend Alfred Duane Pell.

Our curators have highlighted 10 objects that are related to this one. Here are three of them, selected at random:

  • Armchair (France)
  • parcel-gilt mahogany; yellow silk/cotton (present upholstery).
  • Gift of Eleanor and Sarah Hewitt.
  • 1920-15-402

Its dimensions are

H x W x D: 185 x 107 x 60 cm (6 ft. 13/16 in. x 42 1/8 in. x 23 5/8 in.)

It has the following markings

On reverse of large plaques, inset into hinged doors of upper section, stamped in underglaze blue: two crossed and intertwined "C"s with an "X" in the center, for King Charles X.

Cite this object as

Royal Jewel Cabinet Cupboard; Designed by Jean-Charles-François Leloy and Alexandre Évariste Fragonard; France; mahogany; hard paste porcelain, vitreous enamel, gold leaf, platinum,verre églomisé; bronze, gold; H x W x D: 185 x 107 x 60 cm (6 ft. 13/16 in. x 42 1/8 in. x 23 5/8 in.); Bequest of the Reverend Alfred Duane Pell; 1991-31-2

This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition Making Design.

This image is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian’s Terms of Use page.

If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url= |title=Royal Jewel Cabinet Cupboard |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=9 August 2022 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>