When the prototype for this compelling cabinet, now in the collection of the Musée d'Orsay, Paris, was exhibited at the Exposition Universelle in 1867, it received mixed criticism. The cabinetmaker must have been pleased with the controversial piece because he commissioned this second, nearly identical one for himself. The central plaque by the sculptor Emmanuel Frémiet commemorates the military triumph of Merovech (d. 458), leader of the Salian Franks, over Attila and his marauding Huns at the Battle of the Catalaunian Field in 451. In a vivid and unsettling representation, Merovech stands before his troops at the front of the chariot as it passes over the dead body of an opponent.
Signature: Incised letters on cusp under central plaque: BRANDELY DIEHL FREMIET; incised at lower left of central plaque: E. FREMIET (at lower left of this large plaque).
Charles-Guillaume Diehl (until death, ca. 1885; to Dubosc) ; Albert Dubosc (from ca. 1885) ; Family of Albert Dubosc , by descent ; [ Galerie Aveline, Paris ] ; [ Jean-Marie Rossi , sold to Polo ] ; Roberto C. Polo (until 1988; sold to Rossi) ; [ Jean-Marie Rossi (from 1988) ] ; [ Stiebel Ltd. ; sold to MMA ]
Artist: Attributed to Herman Doomer (Dutch, Anrath ca. 1595–1650 Amsterdam)Date: ca. 1640–50Medium: Oak veneered with ebony, snakewood, rosewood, kingwood, cedar and other woods; mother-of-pearl, ivory, green stained boneAccession: 2011.181On view in:Gallery 636
Artist: Marquetry by Alexandre-Jean Oppenordt (Dutch, 1639–1715, active France)Date: ca. 1685Medium: Oak, pine, walnut veneered with ebony, rosewood, and marquetry of tortoiseshell and engraved brass; gilt bronze and steelAccession: 1986.365.3On view in:Gallery 531
Artist: Martin Carlin (French, near Freiburg im Breisgau ca. 1730–1785 Paris)Date: ca. 1775Medium: Oak and pine veneered with tulipwood, sycamore, holly, boxwood and ebony; Carrara marble; gilt-bronze mounts; accessories of Sèvres porcelain, rock crystal, silver gilt, and lacquerAccession: 1976.155.99a, bOn view in:Gallery 523
Artist: Georges Jacob (French, 1739–1814)Date: ca. 1782–83Medium: Carved, painted and gilded walnut, pine, and linden; iron hardware; silk and wool Beauvais tapestry; modern silk damaskAccession: 23.235aOn view in:Gallery 523