I’ve always liked perusing Ebay for Victorian Antique finds because you never know what will pop up at a reasonable price. I believe that I have run across an authentic Alexander Roux cabinet (auction completes on 1/4/11 – link will expire in about 7 days) that compares very favorably to other labeled cabinets of similar design. And you can get it for the price of $3,800 (currently) and restoration costs as you see fit.
There are plenty of labeled specimens to use for identification purposes. The cabinet above is a labeled and stamped Alexander Roux (even one of the mounts has an “R” on the back) in the Munson-Williams-Proctor Institute collection and is featured in the book, “Masterpieces of American Furniture from the Munson-Williams-Proctor Institute“. You can find another related cabinet with three front legs at the Met here (also labeled Roux).
I’ve compared below, several aspects of the two cabinets but you will have to look beyond the differences in resolution and color of the photos. As you know, photos on eBay are often not of the highest quality. From the wheat motifs with their morning glory counterparts and matching scrolled incising surround, to the identical Ionic Capital mounts, to the matching feet, column bases and bottom panel rosette, there is no question they are made by the same maker – Roux.
The MWPI cabinet has been restored while the Ebay cabinet has not, so there is ormolu missing and incising that has long lost it’s gilding, however, you can still see the profiles of these elements where they are missing or worn when you use the MWPI cabinet as a reference.
By the way, the Ebay cabinet has markings on one of it’s mounts too – “RC”. Could that be a reference to Roux & Co.? or maybe Roux/Cabus? Roux had a partnership with Joseph Cabus in the 1850s. Having a living piece representing their collaboration would be a nice find, but for now, I’m sticking to my Alexander Roux attribution with confidence.