Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Her Majesty’s Furniture: The Weisweiler Cabinet, Late Eighteenth Century

Adam Weisweiler, circa 1768
Painted Panel added 1827
The Royal Collection
King George IV had a taste for opulence and liked to be surrounded by the finest, most ornate objects and furnishings. He was known to capriciously change his surroundings to suit his tastes and moods. This would often not only mean the altering of rooms and palaces, but also of articles of furniture.

This lovely cabinet of tulipwood, gilt bronze and glass was already quite ornate when it was created in the late Eighteen Century by furniture-maker Adam Weisweiler. While Prince Regent, George IV bought this piece and was attracted to its splayed glass sides and ormolu mounts and candelabra. After living with the piece for a few years, he decided it was better suited for use in Windsor Castle—which he’d long been considering redecorating. To fit in with his desired décor, George had the front panel of the cabinet replaced with a painted roundel on an ebony ground. The scene of a basket of flowers, added in 1827, remains as bright as the day it was painted. Roses, peonies and other flowers add a bit of color and elegance to an already exceptional piece of furniture.

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