Dog kennel, ca. 1775-80. Claude I Sené

  • Creator: Claude I Sené
  • Year: ca. 1775–80
  • Location: France

Claude I Sené’s talents as a chair maker were not limited to seat furniture for humans (see other works by Claude I Sené). Among one of the most charming pieces in the Wrightsman collection is this niche de chien created for Marie-Antoinette. Considered a part of domestic furnishings, dog kennels were typically comprised of a small case or basket open on one or two sides to allow the dog to enter. More elaborate models resembled diminutive canopied beds or tabouret-shaped chairs with a recessed niche below. The Wrightsman’s example is constructed from gilded beech and pine and covered with luxurious velvet. The interior is lined in a striped blue and beige silk. The usage of acanthus leaves and Greek keys throughout comprise popular Neoclassical motifs fashionable in France at the end of the eighteenth century. Marie-Antoinette, like Madame de Pompadour before her, was a lover of canines. Her pets seemed to return the affection: tradition has it that her beloved dog Coco followed her mistress to her imprisonment at the Temple during the French Revolution.

References:
Nicole de Reyniès, Mobilier domestique: Vocabulaire typologique. Paris: Centre des monuments nationaux, Éditions du patrimonie, 2003, vol. 2, 944–5.”

Dog kennel, ca. 1775-80. Claude I Sené is available in the public domain via Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication .

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Wrightsman, 1971 | Source: Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY

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