craving after pomp and display must surely have proved not a little trying.
Leaving chairs, sofas, beds, and tables, it is time to note one or two examples of "Empire" cabinet work proper before concluding our consideration of this style; these will be found in Fig. 6, Plate I., Fig. 4, Plate II., Fig. 4, Plate III., and on Plate V. A knowledge of this phase of the subject is easily acquired, for "Empire" carcase work generally,no matter for what purpose it was intended, was, with the rarest exceptions, extremely severe in form, and depended almost entirely for its character on the detail with which it was enriched. Here the fondeur ciseleur again had his opportunity, and he made remarkably good use of it. Popular as modelled and chased brass mounts were during the earlier periods which we have passed in review, at the introduction of the " Empire" they were more extensively employed than ever. So important, indeed, was the part they played, that, without their presence, many a choice example of the style which is treasured in the most famous collections, and with which the proud possessors could never be induced to part "for love or money," would not attract a second glance. In order to illustrate this point, let the reader imagine Fig. 4, Plate II.—a piece worth many thousands of pounds—shorn of its brass work. My meaning will then be made perfectly clear. The effect of these mounts, severe in character, demonstrating to the utmost the rare possibilities of modelling, casting, and chasing, and standing out against their background of choice mahogany, or sombre ebony—almost invariably the former—is indescribably rich and truly regal. The details in these, and in all pieces conceived in the "Classic " spirit, to which the designer paid most Particular attention, were the anthemion, the bay leaf ar-ranged in wreaths and other forms ; the laurel, the myrtle, and the oak leaf with acorns, similarly disposed; the heavy " Roman " acanthus scroll, foliated rosettes and " bosses " ;
Was this article helpful?