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Wine Cooler

Artist/maker unknown, American. Made for Simon Gratz, American, 1773 - 1839.

Made in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, North and Central America

c. 1825-1830

Mahogany and mahogany veneer with brass and ebony inlay, lead

29 1/2 x 28 1/4 x 23 inches (74.9 x 71.8 x 58.4 cm)

Curatorial Department:
American Art

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Gift of Simon Gratz in memory of Caroline S. Gratz, 1925

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This wine cooler was made for Simon Gratz (American, 1773-1839), a successful Philadelphia businessman. Many American cabinetmakers imported panels with brass inlay—also called boulle work in honor of Frenchman André-Charles Boulle, who perfected the technique—to adorn the furniture they produced, as seen here.

Additional information:
  • PublicationPhiladelphia Museum of Art: Handbook of the Collections

    This richly decorated suite of dining room furnishings represents the highest development of ornamental inlay and carving found on Philadelphia furniture of the Empire style, which was popular in the first quarter of the nineteenth century. Made for Simon Gratz, a successful Philadelphia businessman, the sideboard with its two knife boxes and the cellarette, or wine cooler, display an impressive scale and lavish design that demonstrate the stylistic sophistication and refined tastes of the city's leading families. The ornate panels of brass and ebony inlay were imported from Birmingham, England, and set into surrounding veneers to create decorative surfaces of a type rarely seen in American furniture. Jack L. Lindsey, from Philadelphia Museum of Art: Handbook of the Collections (1995), p. 275.

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