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European Furniture cover

European Furniture in The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Highlights of the Collection

Kisluk-Grosheide, Daniëlle O., Wolfram Koeppe, and William Rieder
292 pages
249 illustrations
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This beautifully produced volume is the first to survey the Metropolitan Museum's world-renowned collection of European furniture. One hundred and three superb examples from the Museum's vast holdings are featured. They originated in workshops in England, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Austria, Russia, or Spain and date from the Renaissance to the late nineteenth century. A number of them belonged to such important historical figures as Pope Urban VIII, Louis XIV, Madame de Pompadour, and Napoleon. The selection includes chairs, tables, beds, cabinets, commodes, settees and sofas, bookcases and standing shelves, desks, fire screens, athéniennes, coffers, chests, mirrors and frames, showcases, and lighting equipment. There is also one purely decorative piece, a superb vase made for a Russian noble family who, according to one awestruck viewer, "owned all the malachite mines in the world." The makers of some of the objects are unknown, but most of the pieces can be identified by label, documentation, or style as the work of an outstanding European designer-craftsman, such as André-Charles Boulle, Thomas Chippendale, David Roentgen, or Karl Friedrich Schinkel.

Met Art in Publication

Boiserie from the Hôtel de Varengeville, Carved, painted, and gilded oak, French, Paris
French, Paris
ca. 1736–52, with later additions
Sacristy cabinet, Poplar wood and walnut inlaid with various woods; iron locks, handles and key, Italian, Florence or Siena
Italian, Florence or Siena
ca. 1450–80
Cassone with painted front panel depicting the Conquest of Trebizond, Apollonio di Giovanni di Tomaso  Italian, Poplar wood, linen, polychromed and gilded gesso with panel painted in tempera and gold, Italian, Florence
after ca. 1461
Hip-joint armchair (sillón de cadera or jamuga), Walnut and elm, partly veneered and inlaid with different woods, ivory, bone (camel?) and pewter; covered in silk velvet not original to the armchair, Spanish, Granada
Spanish, Granada
ca. 1480–1500
Hip-joint armchair (sillón de cadera or jamuga), Walnut, elm, other woods, ivory, mother-of-pearl, pewter, parchment; leather, tooled., Spanish (Granada?), Hispano-Moresque
Spanish (Granada?), Hispano-Moresque
ca. 1480s
Marriage chest (cassone), Poplar wood; painted and gilded gesso, Italian, Florence or Lucca
Italian, Florence or Lucca
ca. 1480–95
Chair (Sgabello), Workshop of Giuliano da Maiano (1432–1490) and Benedetto da Maiano (1442–1497), Walnut, maple, ebony; ebonized wood, and fruitwood; traces of gilding and red paint, Italian, Florence
ca. 1489–91
Cassone (one of a pair), Walnut, carved and partially gilded, Italian, Rome
Italian, Rome
ca. 1550–60
The Farnese Table, Jacopo [Giacomo] Barozzi da Vignola  Italian, Marble of different colors, semiprecious stones, Egyptian alabaster, residue of paint of different colors on the piers, Italian, Rome
Multiple artists/makers
ca. 1565–73
Cabinet (Fassadenschrank), Pine, oak, walnut; Hungarian ash, birch, various fruitwoods, walnut, palisander, other woods, partly stained (marquetry veneer); wrought iron,, German, Nuremberg
German, Nuremberg
early 17th century
Barberini Cabinet, Galleria dei Lavori, Florence, Oak and poplar veneered with various exotic hardwoods, with ebony moldings and plaques of marble, slate (paragon); pietre dure work consisting of colored marbles, rock crystal, and various hardstones, Italian, Florence
ca. 1606–23
Cupboard (Beeldenkast), Oak, Dutch, Amsterdam
Dutch, Amsterdam
Cabinet, Oak and poplar wood veneered with ebony; ivory; stained ivory; bone, and various marquetry woods, including kingwood and amaranth; ebonized pearwood; gilt-bronze capitals and bases; plated-iron hardware, French, Paris
French, Paris
ca. 1645, with extensive later alterations
Figures Historiques du Vieux Testament, Jean Cousin the Younger  French, Woodcuts
Coffer, Pine veneered with ebony and macassar ebony; padauk wood; painted alabaster; ivory; mirror glass, Dutch
mid-17th century
Cabinet, Melchior Baumgartner (1621–1686) German, Oak, pine, walnut, cedar, ebony, and rosewood; ivory veneer and silver veneer; silver; silver-gilt moldings; gilded yellow-metal mounts; the drawers lined with aquamarine-colored silk, German, Augsburg
Multiple artists/makers
ca. 1655–59, engraved decorations ca. 1825–50
Table, Pierre Gole, Oak and fruitwood veneered with tortoiseshell, stained and natural ivory, ebony, and other woods; gilt bronze, French, Paris
ca. 1660
Showcase on stand (Scarabattola), Walnut; carved, painted, and gilded linden wood; mirror glass, Italian, Rome
Italian, Rome
late 17th century
Mirror, Dark-stained pine; replaced mirror glass, German, Danzig (Gdansk)
German, Danzig (Gdansk)
ca. 1680–1700
Showing 20 of 130

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View Citations

Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, N.Y.), Daniëlle O. Kisluk-Grosheide, Wolfram Koeppe, William Rieder, and Joseph Coscia, eds. 2006. European Furniture in the Metropolitan Museum of Art: Highlights of the Collection. New York : New Haven: Metropolitan Museum of Art ; Yale University Press.