IN THE MUSEUMS : Musée Nissim de Camondo 

Console étagère – Louis XVI era

A narrow set of shelves adorned with engraved gilded bronze ornaments,


Author: A. Weissweiler
Location : Musée Nissim de Camondo, Paris.

Console étagère étroite en ébène

This narrow set of shelves was made with ebony, which was a very precious material in the 18th century. It features four shelves made with Italian “turchino” blue marble and chiselled edges. The top drawer is decorated with an antique frieze. This piece is adorned with engraved gilded bronze ornaments on the feet, on the edges and on the frieze.

Ebony is one of the most precious types of wood in existence; it is also very fragile. In French, cabinetmakers are called “ébénistes”, from the French “ébène” (ebony). Between the 17th and the 19th centuries, Madagascar was the main supplier of ebony in Europe. During the reign of Louis XIII, Richelieu allowed a Dieppe company to relocate to Fort Dauphin in order to facilitate the importation of ebony.