about 1875
Designed by Bruce Talbert (Scottish, 1838–1881)


Overall: 185.1 x 121.9 x 44.5 cm (72 7/8 x 48 x 17.5 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Walnut, veneers of thuja, ash, boxwood, ebony, mahogany, satinwood, and walnut

Not On View





Back has slightly arched panel with central inlaid sunburst motif surmounting a row of turned elements, shaped shelf supported by turned columns, and three bevelled mirror panels. Central cupboard door with inlaid panels depicting a reclining woman flanked by two doors with inlaid floral designs resting on two pairs of small drawers on either side of a recessed bevelled mirror. Base consists of a long cupboard door with five square inlaid panels with alternating stylized floral and bird designs. Inwardly curving skirt with alternating panels of incised scalloped and diaper patterns above balustraded central stretcher. Turned front legs and straight back legs joined by turned side stretchers.

Talbert, a leading proponent of the Gothic Revival style, was one of many prominent designers influenced by Japanese ornament. In his maturity, Talbert produced work that became increasingly modern in appearance and less reliant on traditional Gothic principles and motifs. This display cabinet combines both Asian and medieval European stylistic elements, expressed in the sophisticated use of contrasting wood veneers.


By 1988, with Fine Art Society, London; 1988, sold by the Fine Art Society and bought by the MFA through the Frank B. Bemis Fund and the gift of John Lewis. (Accession Date: September 28, 1988)

Credit Line

Frank B. Bemis Fund and gift of John Lewis, Esq.