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V&AAF helps save a Napoleonic Medal Cabinet for the V&A

Generous support from the V&AAF contributed towards the V&A’s successful appeal in 2014 to save a rare and remarkable medal cabinet from export.

The striking cabinet is one of the finest pieces of French Empire furniture in Britain and is a superlative example of the Egyptian taste that was fashionable throughout Europe in the period 1800-1815.

Made for someone in the circle of the Emperor Napoleon, the cabinet is veneered with fine amboyna and mahogany and inlaid with engraved silver mounts.

The only other known example like it, although in dark mahogany, is in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

Owing to its national importance, the cabinet was subject to an export stop from the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art until July 28, 2014.

The V&A’s new Europe 1600-1800 Galleries opened in 2015 and are an ideal permanent home for the cabinet.

Medal Cabinet in the Egyptian taste, Paris, c.1810
After a design by Charles Percier (1764-1838

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