MARQUETRY IN IVORY AND CHINOISERIE

In 1663 and 1664 Cole delivered a suite of furniture with floral marquetry on ivory ground for Versailles. It consisted of a large cabinet with its two gueridons and their attendant tables, one with matching gueridons. The legs of the cabinet as well as those of the tables were in the form of columns. It would seem that Cole had made a speciality of this type of marquetry in ivory in Paris. According to the records of the Bati – ments du Roi he is the only ebeniste recorded as pro­ducing it. which enables one to attribute a cabinet recently acquired by the Victoria and Albert Museum to him [ 1 ]. It was made between 1661 and 1670 for the

Due d’Orleans. I~ouis XIV’s brother, at the Palais Royal. Soon after 1670 Gole delivered four tables with their eight matching gueridons and four cushion- stands decorated in blue and white in imitation of por­celain for the Trianon de Porcelaine. where the matching decorative theme in blue-and-white was designed to imitate Chinese porcelain.

Besides his creations in trompe-l’oeil. Gole made at least two tables in blue-and-white marquetry on an ivory ground. The first is recorded in a delivery’ in 1664: ‘An ivory table with compartments of flowers and foliage inlaid in blue to look like porcelain, 8 pieds in length and 37> pieds in width, with a wooden stand painted to imitate porcelain.’ The second, smaller table, which can be identified from an inventory at Versailles of 1718. is now in the J. Paul Getty Museum [2]. It is the sole recorded surviving baroque piece of the time of Louis XIV. when the most costly materials were used to create trompe-l’oeil effects; it is more­over a rare example of the development of the taste for chinoiserie in France. Gole also made other pieces in the Chinese manner. As well as the coffer in the form of a mausoleum lacquered in the Chinese manner’ designed to hold the Treasure of Childeric, Gole deli­vered to the King in 1667 a pyramidal cabinet with a series of nine drawers ’decorated overall with the most delicate examples of work in the Chinese style’.