The Louisquatorze

what is called a commercial success. Whatever he received by way of remuneration, instead of being devoted to the liquidation of his debts, was spent, some would say squandered, in the collection of rare art treasures, which never afterwards realised what he originally gave for them. The result was that in the end he died in absolute penury, having been hounded hither and thither by infuriated and unsympathetic creditors.

I must not be tempted, however, to go into further biographical details concerning him ; indeed, I should not have entered at so great length into the story of the Louis the Fourteenth epoch had it not been that during this period the impetus was given which led to the creation of those French styles which followed, constituting a veritable Renaissance in themselves—a Renaissance to which we owe so much.

With regard to the models that appear upon the three plates accompanying these notes, we will first examine two examples of the famous " Boulle 99 before proceeding to others, and gain as adequate an idea of the form and appearance of furniture of that type as can be obtained from black-and-white illustration. What is, perhaps, one of the finest pieces ever produced appears in the magnificent armoire, shown in Fig. 1, Plate I. ; apart from its design, it is a veritable masterpiece of craftsmanship. Every detail of the surface enrichment, be it remembered, was cut in brass, copper, tin, or tortoiseshell, and the wThole was pieced together with almost microscopic exactitude, and supplemented by exquisitely moulded and chased brass mounts, which in themselves must have cost a small fortune to produce. The design of the inlay, as will be observed, was by no means as simple as might reasonably have been expected, if we bear in mind the materials of which !t was composed and the method of its production ; on the contrary, it is more than a little intricate, being crowded with detail of a very free and flowing description, and foliated scrolls play a most important part in it. Attractive as it is in

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