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Cabinet: M.16-1980

An image of Side cabinet

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Object information

Current Location: In storage




Production: Bullock, George




Rectangular side cabinet of larchwood and ebony with gilt brass mounts and boulle work, and Glen Tilt marble top. Behind double doors the interior is fitted with two sets of six drawers on sliding runners.

Side cabinet of larchwood and ebony with gilt brass mounts and boulle work. Rectangular standing on a low plinth, the top of Glen Tilt marble, bordered on the front and sides with a brass wreath moulding. The two panelled doors each enclose six larchwood tiered drawers constructed with side runners. The doors are veneered with larchwood surrounds and a narrow border of ebony framing a boulle work panel in contre-partie of formal flower with foliage above and below. The corners of each door and of the panelled larchwood sides are decorated with applied brass mounts in the form of a stylised anthemium and scrolling leaves. The plinth is flanked at each side by free-standing turned columns of larch and ebony with bands of boulle work in premiere partie, and applied brass lotus and acanthus leaf mounts. The top of the plinth is decorated with styhlised anthemia in premiere partie boulle work, and the shaped apron and bracket supports are similarly decorated: on the front wtih a central anthemion linked to a floriated scroll at each end, and on the sides with two floriated scrolls.


History note: The 4th Duke of Atholl; perhaps his widow as Mrs. Bagshawe, near Stafford; Mrs. C. Adams, probably of Bristol or Weston-super-Mare; Temple Williams, Ltd., Haunch of Venison Yard, Brook Strret, London, W1, from whom purchased.

Legal notes

Purchased with the Gow Fund and contributions from the National Art Collections Fund, and the Regional Fund administered by the Victoria and Albert Museum

Measurements and weight

Depth: 46 cm
Height: 87.2 cm
Width: 120.4 cm

Place(s) associated

  • London ⪼ England

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bought (1980-10-13) by Temple Williams, Ltd.


George III
19th Century, Early#
Production date: circa AD 1817


A design among the 'Wilkinson Tracings' in the Birmingham City Museum and Art Gallery, found by the late Clive Wainwright, Department of Furniture at the Victoria and Albert Museum, shows the pattern of the boulle work on the doors of the cabinet. It is inscribed 'Mrs Barrows/Oak Book Commode/Pubd. Augt 1816'.

Bullock's dates are uncertain; his birth date may be 1782/3.

George Bullock was one of the most enterprising and original English furniture-makers of the early nineteenth century. Initially a wax modeller and sculptor, he went into business as a furnisher and marble-cutter in Liverpool in 1804, and moved to London in 1812. His success there was ensured by the superb quality of his work, which was strongly influenced by the French Empire style.

The cabinet was made for the 4th Duke of Atholl (1755-1830) and is described in Bullock's account dated 12th July 1817 as 'A Cabinet with Drawers of Larchwood the panels of Doors of Brass and ebony two columns enriched with Brass ornaments and Brass wreath moulding round the Top £45./ A slab of Glen Tilt marble at Top 6.2 @ 12/- 3.14. The price of the marble refers to the rough slab not the finished top. Its design and the materials used are closely related to two larger cabinets commissioned by the Duke, probably for Dunkeld, which were delivered in 1818, and survive at Blair Castle, Perthshire.

The cabinets illustrate prominent traits of Bullock’s style. Their rectangular forms have a strong sense of projection and recession. Smooth surfaces of dark and light woods are counterbalanced by the textured effect of coloured marble and the opulent but unostentatious glow of the mounts and brass inlay or boulle-work (a technique perfected by André Charles Boulle (1642-1732) ébeniste to Louis XIV).

School or Style


People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Top composed of Glen Tilt marble
Carcase composed of larchwood
Base composed of ebony
Inlay composed of brass (alloy)
Mounts composed of brass (alloy)

Techniques used in production


Inscription or legends present

  • Location: Back
  • Method of creation: Printed
  • Type: Label
  • Text: Mrs. C. Adams 45
  • Location: Between two printed lines on label
  • Method of creation: Handwritten in pencil
  • Type: Label

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: M.16-1980
Primary reference Number: 95835
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Thursday 10 August 2023 Last processed: Wednesday 13 December 2023

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Applied Arts

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