Coin cabinet

Designer: Designed by Charles Percier (French, Paris 1764–1838 Paris)

Maker: Probably by François-Honoré-Georges Jacob-Desmalter (French, 1770–1841)

Maker: Silver mounts by Martin-Guillaume Biennais (French, 1764–1843, active ca. 1796–1819)

Decorator: Decoration after drawings by baron Dominique Vivant Denon (French, Givry 1747–1825 Paris)

Date: ca. 1809–19

Culture: French, Paris

Medium: Mahogany, applied and inlaid silver

Dimensions: 35 1/2 x 19 3/4 x 14 3/4 in. (90.2 x 50.2 x 37.5 cm.)

Classification: Woodwork-Furniture

Credit Line: Bequest of Collis P. Huntington, 1900

Accession Number: 26.168.77


Dominique Vivant-Denon was director of the Mint and of the Musée Napoleon (now the Musée du Louvre) as well as a collector and an arbiter of taste during the Napoleonic period. He accompanied the Egyptian campaign of 1798–99 as a draftsman and published his drawings as Voyage dans la Basse et la Haute Égypte (1802). The pylon at Ghoos, in Upper Egypt, served as the model for the top section of this medal cabinet, which was intended for Napoleon but remained in Denon's possession. The front and back panels are inlaid with a silver scarab flanked by uraei (sacred serpents) on lotus stalks. There are twenty-two drawers on each side of the cabinet, all inlaid with a silver bee. One wing is hinged to provide a pull.