Purchase, The James Parker Charitable Foundation Gift, 2006
Not on view
When shown in an 1893 Arts and Crafts Exhibition at the New Gallery, London, this desk, or a nearly identical one now in the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, was favorably commented on in The Cabinet Maker and Art Furnisher: "An escritoire by Mr. Mervyn Macartney….is quite a gem. Original in design, dressed up with lovely wood, and perfectly made by Mr. J. Hall, it is one of the few miniature woodwork triumphs of the exhibition. Hitherto the French have had a monopoly in dainty things of this sort. The buyer who has the means need not now go to Paris to satisfy the taste of his lady-love." This comment stressed precisely the objectives of the short-lived firm: to supply furniture of good design and the best workmanship, which are both admirably expressed in this piece. Designed by Macartney, one of four architects who founded Kenton & Co. in 1890, the desk is reminiscent of eighteenth-century French furniture in its elegance while its exquisite use of Macassar ebony veneer foreshadows work of the Art Deco artist Emile Jacques Ruhlmann (1879-1920).
Marking: Stamped on inside back edge: "KENTON & Co Ld"; "M.E.M."; "W. HALL"
[ Martin Levy, H. Blairman and Sons, Ltd. ; sold to MMA ]
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: André Charles Boulle (French, Paris 1642–1732 Paris)Date: ca. 1710–20Medium: Walnut veneered with ebony, marquetry of engraved brass and tortoiseshell, gilt-bronze mounts, verd antique marbleAccession: 1982.60.82On view in:Gallery 542