You are here:


Chest of drawers – Louis XVI era

This chest of drawers features open side panels.

It was made with Japanese lacquer, ebony veneering and rose wood. The cabinet door is adorned with engraved gilded bronze ornaments.
The top was made in red cherry marble. Stamped by Martin Carlin. Circa 1775-1780

A gift from Mr and Miss René Grog-Carven.
Musée du Louvre, Paris.

Commode à encoignures, en laque du Japon, placage d’ébène et bois de rose, ouvrant par un vantail, ornée de bronzes ciselés et dorés. Dessus en marbre griotte rouge.
Commode Louis XVI, Martin Carlin. Musee du Louvre

Martin Carlin is one of the best cabinetmakers of his time. He created a number of Louis XVI style pieces of furniture; this beautiful chest of drawers was made with Japanese lacquer. He worked with the best cabinetmakers of the era. He married Oeben’s sister and became close friends with RVLC (Roger Vandercruse also known as Lacroix). Many of his customers were famous aristocrats and some of them were related to the royal family. Some of his pieces were commissioned by Marie-Antoinette, Madame Adélaïde, Madame du Barry and the actress Marie-Joseph Laguerre.
Carlin made very few marquetry pieces. He focused on creating precious pieces of furniture, which were adorned with Sèvres porcelain or with lacquered panels similar to this one.
He placed the lacquer in multifoiled frames. He hollowed out the sides of the chest of drawers to make the artwork seem lightweight. Bronze ornaments are featured on the framing rods, the gadrooning and the frieze around the front. The latter is particularly well-made; it represents acanthus leaves.
By avoiding straight lines, Carlin managed to add movement to this chest of drawers by adding lacquer and crafting open side panels.