Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Filing cabinet (cartonnier) (part of a set)

Maker:
attributed to Joseph Baumhauer (French, active ca. 1749–72)
Date:
ca. 1770
Culture:
French
Medium:
Oak veneered with tulipwood, purplewood, casuarina wood, kingwood, gilt-bronze mounts
Dimensions:
H. 27-1/2 x W. 42-1/2 x D. 14 in. (69.8 x 108.0 x 35.6 cm)
Classification:
Woodwork-Furniture
Credit Line:
Purchase, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Wrightsman Gift, 1977
Accession Number:
1977.177
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 526
This filing cabinet is made by the French cabinetmaker Joseph Baumhauer, who also created the matching writing table in the museum’s collection (1979.172.2). Known as cartonniers or serre-papiers, filing cabinets were separate pieces intended to be placed on the table. Decorated on the sides and top with floral marquetry, the cabinet is a trapezoidal structure with a slightly concave front. It rests upon four short tapering cabriole legs mounted with gilt-bronze mounts in the shape of scrolled acanthus leaves. The front two doors are fitted with wire mesh and open up to reveal seven compartments arranged in three tiers. Pierre Verlet has suggested that separate filing cabinets eventually gave way to the fall-front secretary (see for example 1977.1.14), a type of furniture that afforded greater privacy by allowing the user to lock away personal papers from prying eyes.
Inscription: Printed label pasted to underside of carcass: "POTTER/EMBALLEUR 45 Rue Kleber St. OUEN (Seine)", inscribed in ink "1936/Exposition d'Amsterdam/11"
L. Kraemer , Paris (by 1936)
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Writing table (part of a set)

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