© Photo RMN (The Louvre)
Duke of Hamilton, liked furniture decorated with marquetry made
of brass and tortoiseshell (actually turtle shell) set off by veneers
of ebony. These pieces were either made by the great French royal
Boulle (1642-1732), who was the leading specialist in this technique,
or his followers.
Alexander's outstanding acquisitions of Boulle-style
furniture were the armoires or wardrobes, with figures of Aspasia
and Socrates, which were displayed in the Long Gallery at Hamilton
Palace. They are clearly related to a drawing of an armoire, with
the same two figures in reverse, now in the Musée des Arts
Décoratifs in Paris. This has an inscription on the back
about two wall lights that Boulle supplied for the Antechamber of
the Grand Dauphin at Meudon in 1701, and indicates that the Hamilton
armoires were produced after this date.