The conservation of two pietre dure and gilt-bronze-mounted cabinets made by Domenico Cucci for Louis XIV

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Publication Type:

Journal Article


Chastang, Yannick;


Studies in Conservation, Volume 57, Number S1, p.73-79 (2012)


Two ebony cabinets, each over 3 m tall and decorated with elaborate pietre dure panels, commissioned by Louis XIV, designed by Charles Le Brun, made at the Manufacture des Gobelins by Domenico Cucci and delivered to the Palace of Versailles in 1683, are the only fully documented and surviving Sun King cabinets, and are among the richest ever made. This is the first conservation treatment since 1823. Both had lifting inlays. Conservation combined analysis of the original adhesive with traditional techniques, to address numerous problems, in particular the re-application of the pietre dure (hard-stone) decoration and the challenge of matching then modifying the original wax-based adhesive. This offered a good and reliable treatment without compromising the quality or reversibility of the conservation work or the stability of the object.