A Magnificent George IV Ormolu-Mounted Rosewood Side Cabinet
Height: 40.75"Width: 68.5"Depth: 28"
Inventory Number 8014-386
The rectangular granite top resting on an ormolu panelled frieze centered by two classical maiden flanking a flaming urn, over two glazed doors with ormolu palmette border enclosing an adjustable shelf; the keeled angles with boldly carved scrolls mounted with ormolu acanthus leaves; raised on a plinth base with ormolu gadrooned edge and lion's paw feet.
Magnificent gilt-metal mounts, as on this rosewood side cabinet, became fashionable as carved decoration declined – by the early nineteenth century, there were only eleven master carvers in London. Ormolu mounts, made of gilt bronze, were the most expensive and dangerous to produce. The Prince Regent, later George IV, employed a French émigré craftsman in Sloane Square solely to cast mounts for Carlton House in brass or bronze, which were then fire-gilt with mercury and gold. Another cheaper and safer method, as practiced by the celebrated supplier Matthew Boulton, was to cover brass mounts in lacquer gilding.