Cabinet, Designed by Jean Brandely (French, active 1855–67), Oak veneered with cedar, walnut, ebony and ivory; silvered-bronze mounts, French, Paris


Designed by Jean Brandely (French, active 1855–67)
Woodwork by Charles-Guillaume Diehl (French, 1811–ca. 1885)
Mounts and large central plaque by Emmanuel Frémiet (French, Paris 1824–1910 Paris)
French, Paris
Oak veneered with cedar, walnut, ebony and ivory; silvered-bronze mounts
93 3/4 x 59 1/2 x 23 5/8 in. (238.1 x 151.1 x 60 cm)
Credit Line:
Purchase, Mr. and Mrs. Frank E. Richardson Gift, 1989
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 556
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 ]