Guillaume Janneau, Le meuble d'ébénisterie, Paris 1970, fig. 31.
Helena Hayward (ed.), World Furniture, London 1975, p. 77, fig. 249.
Th. Lunsingh Scheurleer, Pierre Gole, ébéniste de Louis XIV, Dijon, 2005, pp.124-9, fig.95, and p.132-3, fig.105.
Profusely decorated with an intricate marquetry of flowers and elaborate foliate scrolls, executed in a variety of rich of materials such as ivory, stained horn and ebony, this cabinet is characteristic of the finest Parisian ébénisterie from the first decades of the reign of Louis XIV. Centred by an opulent vase of flowers within an aedicula shaped as a triumphal arch, this superb and incredibly-well preserved cabinet-on-stand relates to the documented oeuvre of Pierre Gole (c.1620-1684), 'maître menuisier en ébène ordinaire du roi' from 1656.
Prof. Theodoor Lunsingh Scheurleer illustrates several closely related cabinets-on-stands attributed to the foremost ébéniste, among which the celebrated example executed circa 1665 at Burghley House, Stamford and that commonly known as 'The Merry cabinet', formerly in the collection of James Merry, M.P. (1805-1877), later sold Christie's, London, 23 June 1988, lot 109 (£220,000 with premium) and now in The Fine Arts Museums, San Francisco (T. Lunsingh Scheurleer Pierre Gole Ebéniste de Louis XIV, Dijon, 2005, pp. 124-9 and pp. 132-6, respectively).
The foremost ébéniste of the early years of Louis XIV's reign was the Dutch-born Pierre Gole (c. 1620-1685) who may have been the first to decorate furniture with floral marquetry, probably in the early 1650s.
The Burghley cabinet was acquired in Paris in 1679 by the 5th Earl of Exeter, together with four guéridons and a table en suite, but probably dates from the mid-1660s. Its marquetry is closely related to the decoration of the offered piece, equally including flowers and other elements in ivory and green-coloured bone. The disposition of the marquetry of the drawers in particular, was quickly adopted as the standard solution by the Parisian ébénistes and employed by them on cabinets, writing desks - the so-called bureaux Mazarin - and somewhat later on commodes. Some of the bureaux have been attributed to Gole as well (Ibid, figs. 144-148 and 151-155). However, there were many other cabinet-makers active at the time, and no specific characteristics of Gole's work in this mode have been formulated. The other ébénistes included Michel Camp, Aubertin and Renaud Gaudron, François Guillemard and Charles Fromageau; they, and many others as well, all made floral marquetry furniture, the vogue for which was one of the principal characteristics of Parisian ébénisterie in the years following 1670 (D. Alcouffe a.o., Il mobile francese dal Medioevo al 1925, Milan 1982. pp. 25-53, figs. on pp. 26, 27, 30, 31, 36, 37 and 42-45).
Amongst the related cabinets attributed to Gole sold at auction, a cabinet formerly in the collections of Charles de Pauw and Akram Ojjeh, respectively, was sold Christie's, Monaco, 11-12 December 1999, lot 25. Akram Ojjeh, and again, Christie's, London, 7 December 2006, lot 235 (£ 153,600 with premium) while further related examples were sold respectively, Christie's, London, 12 December 1996, lot 202 (£78,500 with premium), and more recently Christie's, London, 8 July 2010, lot 185.