1- Domenico Cucci royal cabinets


We were extremely privileged to conserve the pair of cabinets by Domenico Cucci exhibited at Alnwick, the ancestral seat of the Duke of Northumberland.  These cabinets, standing over 3 metres tall each, of ebony and decorated with elaborate pietre dure panels, are amongst the richest ever made.  They were made at the Manufacture des Gobelins for Louis XIV and were delivered to Versailles in 1683. This is the first time they have been conserved since 1823 and the painstaking conservation took a year and a half.

Conservation of pietra dura marquetry is an extremely specialized and complex work.  For this project, we researched old and current techniques in Florence and Paris and developed appropriate techniques for the conservation of hard stone marquetry.  The techniques we chose were based on traditional practices and they have already been received as a great improvement over many current approaches.  More details about our developments and the conservation of the Cucci cabinet will be presented during the IIC (International Institute of Conservation) congress in Vienna on the conservation of decorative arts in September 2012. 

Since the conservation of the Cucci cabinets, we have already applied our experience to other pietra dura projects and we look forward to continuing working with this fascinating art.

For more information on the conservation of the cabinets, you will find articles on the web including one in the Antique Trade Gazette, see ATG, 01 February 2011