Ref. 1842

M. Befort


Elegant Pair of Cabinets

Circa 1870

Signed MB on the bronze
signature MB

Amboyna, Mahogany, Gilded bronze, Lacquer, Marble

Height : 108,5 cm (42,7 in.) ; Width : 133,5 cm (52,6 in.) ; Depth : 50 cm (19,7 in.)
Height : 113 cm (44,5 in.) ; Width : 137 cm (59,3 in.) ; Depth : 49,5 cm (19,5 in.)

Provenance : Château du Marais, Essonne, France

Sans titre

Elegant Napoleon III period cabinets forming a pair, in amboyna burl and mahogany burl veneer, decorated with chiseled and gilded bronze, and European lacquer panels in the spirit of the Japanese lacquers.
They open with two doors decorated with lacquer panels representing lake landscapes framed by gilded bronzes and topped with a ribboned garland of flowers. An antique vase with flowers on a black background adorns the central projection. The whole is surmounted by to drawers on the belt, decorated with foliage scrolls.
Topped with molded Sarrancolin marble highlighted with an egg-and-dart frieze, they rest on four legs, with two of them in leafy consoles.

The Château du Marais

The current castle was built according to the plans of the architect Jean-Benoît-Vincent Barré between 1772 and 1779 at the request of the general treasurer of the Artillery, Jean Le Maître de la Martinière. In neo-classical style, in 1784, it passed into the hands of Le Maître’s niece, who for several decades hosted a literary salon with the presence of Saint-Lambert, Florian, Chateaubriand, Sainte-Beuve or Mérimée. The castle stays in the family by descent until the duchesse de Noailles, who is probably the instigator of the purchase of this pair, also inherits the Château de Champlatreux and that of La Roche Millay, and puts it up for sale. Guided by her husband, the Comte Boniface de Castellane, it is bought in 1897 by Anna Gould, who kept it after their divorce. On March 26, 1965, the estate was partially classified as a historic monument. The heirs sold the castle and part of its furniture in November 2022.


Mathieu Befort, known as Befort Jeune, is a French cabinetmaker who distinguished himself during the second half of the 19th century, mainly from 1830 to 1870, for his rich Napoleon III style furniture. He specialized, among other things, in the production of Boulle Napoleon III furniture in red tortoiseshell and brass, in blackened wood and ebony, as well as in rosewood furniture with mosaics. The house was located at 4 rue des Quatre-Fils, in Paris. Its productions include blackened wood bookcases, Boulle sideboards with two doors, Boulle cabinets, in-between or base cabinet furniture, etc.

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