Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, designer (English, 1836–1912)
Johnstone, Norman & Co., manufacturer
Music Cabinet, 1884–85
Ebony, box-and rosewood, cedar, ivory, mother-of-pearl, abalone shell, marble and brass
This extraordinary cabinet was designed by the famous English painter, Lawrence Alma-Tadema for the music room of Henry G. Marquand's New York City residence. Marquand (1819–1902) was a railroad magnate and founder of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He commissioned architect Richard Morris Hunt (1827–1895) to design the house, which was lavishly decorated in a range of historical styles to complement Marquand's vast and eclectic collection of art. The mansion's rooms included a Moorish smoking room, a Japanese chamber, and the Greek revival music parlor.