Burled amboyna two-door cabinet
The stepped top above a macassar ebony center arcade above three short drawers flanked either side by doors opening to reveal a shelved interior, raised on a plinth base, branded Ruhlmann twice, and branded B twice, the locks stamped FONTAINE PARIS.
Height 5ft 3in (1.6m); length 6ft 8in (2.3m); width 191⁄2in (49.5cm)
Note: The elegant cabinet with central arcade is a wonderful example of the remarkable skills of Ruhlmann and his team of ebenistes. Clad in loupe d’amboine, one of the two exotic woods, along with ebene-de-macassar, so closely associated with Ruhlmann, this stepped cabinet is an example of pure line, with no embellishment necessary. The central arcade with its contrasting dark wood, is the only flourish. The large mass is broken up by the arcade, dividing the line and allowing the eye to rest on the arcade and the object displayed within. It, or an identical example, is pictured in the apartment of M. Van Beuningen in 1930 and in Ruhlmann’s own home in 1923-24.
Literature: cf. Florence Camard, Ruhlmann Master of Art Deco Harry N. Abrams, New York, 1984, p. 202.
Million and Robert Auctions, The Ruhlmann Collection of Genevieve and Pierre Hebey, Paris, October 28, 1999, p.144, for a period photo of the identical cabinet in situ in the Van Beuningen apartment.
Provenance: Galerie Vallois, Paris Macklowe Gallery-Modernism, New York