The images of the Fig Leaf cabinet by Tord Boontje have just been released. Unveiled at the Milan Furniture Fair, there was a photographic omerta on the piece until it had been published in the New York Times on the occasion of the ICFF… My fingers were itching to secretly shoot the piece at the Meta showroom, but the project is so uniquely inspiring that I respected their wishes…

Historically, such ‘Fantasy Furniture’ was created by master craftsmen to show off their skills and imagination. This cabinet is a contemporary version and an ode to 18th century cabinetry and locks. Hand-veneered in rare woods, covered in 610 enamel fig leaves hand-painted in front and in back in bespoke colours, each leaf unique and signed by the painter, the armoire opens at a touch… Inside, a lost-wax bronze cast of a hand-carved tree trunk is set in a space upholstered with rare silk, woven vertically in order for the hues to dissolve gradually into one another, from a mossy green to a cerulean blue. A secret central panel opens to reveal concealed compartments, drawers and chambers. In searching out these spaces, one must use intuition as much as sight as they are expertly hidden…


Meta, whose parent company is the pre-eminent British antiques house Mallett of Bond Street, is focused on combining master crafts and techniques with exquisite materials and 21st century design vision. This armoire is part of the inaugural collection, in which Asymptote, Barber & Osgerby, Matali Crasset and Wales & Wales were also invited to collaborate with over 50 master craftsmen and artisans.The concept of the entire Meta collection is just as meticulously executed and visionary as the concept and creation of the cabinet itself.

This magical piece evokes the wonder of an idealized nature, yet nevertheless it is made to be used: part Garden of Eden, part garde-robe, though I cannot imagine actually hanging clothes from its branches… 

A strange paradise…






~ by lisacwhite on May 20, 2008.

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