Charles-Guillaume Diehl, French, 1811 - c. 1885. Probably designed by E. Brandely, French, active 1850 - 1870.
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This jewelry cabinet in the Greek style was considered a masterpiece of the Paris Exposition Universelle of 1867. An elaborate showpiece of marquetry, gilded elements, and clever construction, the cabinet includes a hidden release mechanism by which the door and top open. Inside are drawers for storage and a flat, slanted platform for display. In 1868, one critic described the decoration of the cabinet's surface as its "exterior jewelry," comparable to the elaborate jewels it was made to conceal and protect.