Émile-Jacques Ruhlmann (French, Paris 1879–1933 Paris)
Macassar ebony, ivory, silk, silvered bronze
H. 39 1/2, W. 33 1/2, D. 19 1/4 in. (100.3 x 85.1 x 48.9 cm)
Purchase, Edward C. Moore Jr. Gift, 1925
Not on view
The formal simplicity of this cabinet provides a backdrop for an extraordinarily complex and subtle marquetry pattern. The body of the piece is raised on four fuseau (spindle-shaped) legs, which give the model its name. The Metropolitan purchased the cabinet directly from Ruhlmann in 1925. It probably was intended to be a sort of man’s dressing table (a vide-poche, or “pocket emptier”), though records in the Ruhlmann archive show that the model could also be adapted for use as a cabinet for liquor or cigars.
Marking: Stamped (under front rail): Ruhlmann; (on rail behind proper front left leg): C.
Ruhlmann et Laurent, Paris (1925; sold to MMA)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Ruhlmann: Genius of Art Deco," June 10–September 5, 2004, no. 23.
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. "Ruhlmann: Genius of Art Deco," September 30–December 12, 2004, no. 23.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Masterpieces of French Art Deco," August 4, 2009–January 23, 2011, no catalogue.
Joseph Breck. "Accessions and Notes: Furniture by Ruhlmann." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 21 (March 1926), p. 88.