Infantryman in the King’s Royal Rifle Corps, United Kingdom, 1914.
This imposing neo-Renaissance dresser is modelled on the furniture of the 16th century, with modern decoration.
It was made in the 1930s by Alexandre Ouéné, a Rouen cabinet-maker, then handed down across three generations of his family. The maker decorated it entirely on the theme of the Great War, drawing on postcards and press publications.
The dresser depicts several episodes in the war or important figures of the time, as well as popular images such as Georges Scott’s En Alsace ! engraving of an Alsatian woman falling into the arms of a French soldier behind a fallen German border post, which can be seen at the back of the surface.
While it does not date from the Great War itself, it does illustrate the memory of the conflict in a household and its transmission from generation to generation.
Alexandre Ouéné, Family dresser depicting Great War scenes and characters, c. 1930, wood, metal, glass, 252 x 162 x 63 cm. Inventory no.: CE2017.11.1