An outstanding French Napoleon III red tortoise shell and engraved brass inlaid boulle side cabinet in the Louis XIV style by Mathieu Befort (Befort Jeune). The cabinet has scrolling floral and foliate design to the front and canted corners with ebonised sides and base finished with a black slate top and mirror to the door. Throughout the cabinet are exceptional bronze gilt ormolu mounts and moulds stamped to the reverse BF and BJ. To the sides are female faces surrounded by laurel leaves and to the front are Bacchus god and goddess masks. The canted corners are adorned with cherub term figures terminating to acanthus leaves. Inside, the cabinet is veneered in mahogany and there is a single shelf with double string brass inlay with working lock and key.
Mathieu Béfort (Befort Jeune) was born in 1813 and is recorded as having worked in Paris from 1836 until his death in 1880. Mathieu was the son of renowned cabinet maker Jean-Baptiste Befort (Befort Père). Both are known for creating their own interpretations of Andre Charles Boulles furniture. In 1844 Mathieu won a medal in the French Exhibition showcasing his work which resulted in Napoleon III becoming a purveyor.
Height - 44 inches
Width - 33 inches
Depth - 19 inches
Circa - 1850 - 1860