Table

1850–57
Alexander Roux (about 1813–1886)


Object Place: New York, United States

Dimensions

Overall: 80 x 137.2 x 61.6 cm (31 1/2 x 54 x 24 1/4 in.)

Accession Number

1983.325

Medium or Technique

Rosewood, rosewood veneer

On View

Dr. Lawrence H. and Roberta Cohn Gallery (Gallery 235)

Collections

Americas

Classifications

Tables, stands, screens

Alexander Roux was one of the elite New York cabinetmakers of French and German descent who supplied high-style furniture in the latest fashions to wealthy patrons in New York and beyond. Having emigrated from France in 1835, Roux quickly established his business, first as an upholsterer and then as a cabinetmaker, alongside other purveyors of luxury goods in the elegant Broadway shopping district. He made furniture in the French styles in vogue during the mid-nineteenth century, emphasizing his French training and ancestry in his advertising. Architect Andrew Jackson Downing singled out Roux’s work for praise in his landmark 1850 book The Architecture of Country Houses, writing: “At the warehouse of M. A. Roux, Broadway, may be found a large collection of furniture for the drawing-room, library, etc.-the most tasteful designs of Louis Quatorze, Renaissance, Gothic, etc., to be found in the country… .”

This elegant table with exquisite carving in high relief displays Roux’s free handling of a variety of French styles drawn from Rococo Revival and Renaissance sources. It bears his stenciled label-“From / A. Roux / French / Cabinet Maker / Nos. 479 & 481 Broadway / New York”-advertising not only his business location but also his fashionably French origins.

This text was adapted from Ward, et al., MFA Highlights: American Decorative Arts & Sculpture (Boston, 2006) available at www.mfashop.com/mfa-publications.html.

Markings

Stencilled label on back: "From / A. Roux / French / Cabinet Maker / Nos. 479 & 481 Broadway / New York"

Provenance

According to the dealer, the table was part of the original furnishings in the home of Charles Eliot Tilton (1827-1901) in Tilton, N.H. Sold to the MFA by E. J. Canton, dealer in 19th century decorative arts (818 Morris Ave., Lutherville, MD) in 1983.

Credit Line

Frank B. Bemis Fund