Cabinet, designed by Designed by Alexandre Eugène Prignot

Cabinet, designed by Designed by Alexandre Eugène Prignot

Cabinet
Designed by Alexandre Eugène Prignot,
Made by Jackson and Graham, London
England
19th century
Carved, gilded and painted wood, marquetry, porcelain plaques, marble inlay
Museum no. 7247-1860

Although this cabinet was designed, not for the Great Exhibition, but for the following international exhibition held in Paris in 1855, it is included here as an extreme example of `exhibition style'. It was made by the British firm of Jackson Graham to demonstrate the varied skills of the entire workforce of more than 300 in one dazzling exhibition piece. A French designer, A.E. Prignot, was commissioned to design a cabinet in a style that would impress the mainly French audience. The medals awarded to prize-winning pieces were greatly valued and used in advertising. The size of this piece, intended to catch attention at the exhibition, was copied by other, less skilled manufacturers. Much of the overweight, oversize furniture of the later nineteenth century can be blamed on international exhibitions.