This wonderful side cabinet was created in France in the 19th Century. The cabinet is crafted from amboyna burl wood, with inlaid ebony wood decoration and gilt bronze (ormolu) mounts.
The cabinet is covered by veined white marble. This tops a frieze which contains a drawer. The frieze is decorated with a central gilt bronze plaque, depicting cherubs navigating with globes, telescopes, compasses and maps. The drawer, on either side of this plaque, is mounted with gilt bronze leafy vines which twist around a gilt bronze pinecone-tipped staff.
Beneath the drawer, there is an open compartment with a mirrored back. This is fronted by a partial gilt bronze gallery which is pierced with a Greek fret pattern. The lower body of the cabinet contains three compartments, each fitted with a central shelf and closed behind a lockable door. The central door is decorated with a circular gilt bronze motif, depicting a butterfly atop a classical urn. This is framed by decorative inlaid ebony and gilt bronze borders. The side doors are designed to look like books, their spines decorated with dark geometric motifs created by inlaid ebony. A pair of engaged, fluted Ionic columns, with gilt bronze capitals and bases, flank the cabinet’s body. The cabinet stands on four gilt bronze-mounted peg feet.