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1990

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Royal Jewel Cabinet (France), 1824–26

This is a Royal Jewel Cabinet. It was manufactured by Sèvres Porcelain Manufactory. It is dated 1824–26 and we acquired it in 1990. Its medium is casework of molded hard-paste porcelain with enamel–painted and fired decoration, porcelain gilding in gold leaf and platinum,glass-verre églomisé -panels, mounted in gilt bronze, joined mahogany drawers, gilt metal. 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.

It is credited Bequest of the Reverend Alfred Duane Pell.

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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 (France), 1824–26; Manufactured by Sèvres Porcelain Manufactory (France); casework of molded hard-paste porcelain with enamel–painted and fired decoration, porcelain gilding in gold leaf and platinum,glass-verre églomisé -panels, mounted in gilt bronze, joined mahogany drawers, gilt metal; 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.

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18636425/ |title=Royal Jewel Cabinet (France), 1824–26 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=18 October 2018 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>