Cabinet. Bruce Talbert (1838–1881). Walnut, veneers of thuja, ash, boxwood, ebony, mahogany, satinwood, and walnut, 185.1 x 121.9 x 44.5 cm (72 7/8 x 48 x 17.5 inches). Collection: the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. Frank B. Bemis Fund and gift of John Lewis, Esq. Acession number 1988.346. [Click twice on photographs to enlarge them.]

Commentary from the Museum Website

“Back has slightly arched panel with central inlaid sunburst motif surmounting a row of turned elements, shaped shelf supported by turned columns, and three bevelled mirror panels. Central cupboard door with inlaid panels depicting a reclining woman flanked by two doors with inlaid floral designs resting on two pairs of small drawers on either side of a recessed bevelled mirror. Base consists of a long cupboard door with five square inlaid panels with alternating stylized floral and bird designs. Inwardly curving skirt with alternating panels of incised scalloped and diaper patterns above balustraded central stretcher. Turned front legs and straight back legs joined by turned side stretchers.”

Talbert, a leading proponent of the Gothic Revival style, was one of many prominent designers influenced by Japanese ornament. In his maturity, Talbert produced work that became increasingly modern in appearance and less reliant on traditional Gothic principles and motifs. This display cabinet combines both Asian and medieval European stylistic elements, expressed in the sophisticated use of contrasting wood veneers.”

The photograph at left by George P. Landow 2015, that at right by the MFA. [You may use these images without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite the Victorian Web in a print one.]

Last modified 7 November 2015