South Germany, probably Augsburg, circa 1660
Walnut and mulberry veneer, carved gilt-wood, partially polychrome decorated, brass and iron fittings, bovine bone knobs.
Height: 86 cm ( 33.9 inch)
Width: 53 cm (20.9 inch)
Depth: 24 cm (9.4 inch) Ref No: 1882
A small architectural table cabinet, veneered in walnut and mulberry, the centre doors enclosing an arrangement of nine various sized drawers with ivory knobs, behind a central door a compartement and further three drawers. The cabinet is set with a superstructure above a large frieze drawer, with two finely carved polychrome decorated and parcel gilt winged cherub heads flanking another small pair of doors enclosing further six drawers.
Cabinets were the most prestigeous pieces of storage furniture during the 16th and 17th century. Such cabinets were a speciality of the south German city of Augsburg and widely exported. Because these cabinets were made from precious materials, such as rare veneers and ivory, and assembled with such skill, they were regarded as fit for princes and noblemen and often served as diplomatic gifts. Sometimes they were supplied already fitted with a variety of small, rare, collectable objects. Some were from the natural world, such as coral or shells, and others were ’artificial’ or examples of human skill, such as watches or pieces of fine ivory turning.