17th Century Marquetry Fall Front Cabinet on Stand
17th Century Marquetry Fall Front Cabinet on Stand
17th Century Marquetry Fall Front Cabinet on Stand
17th Century Marquetry Fall Front Cabinet on Stand
17th Century Marquetry Fall Front Cabinet on Stand
17th Century Marquetry Fall Front Cabinet on Stand

17th Century Marquetry Fall Front Cabinet on Stand

17th century Tyrol, Austria or Augsburg, Germany

Offered by Thomas Coulborn & Sons

Price Upon Request
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Favourite Item
The veneered stand circa 1800.
Height (Box): 15.5 inches (39.5cm)
Height (Box and Stand): 45.25 inches (115cm)

The cabinet of rectangular form, with a front which opens down, revealing a collection of drawers inside. This fold-down front adds to the utility of the object: the smooth finish serving as a convenient writing surface. The front is inlaid with two songs birds, each perched on a leafy branch. The inside of the fold-down front is inlaid with a checkered stringing outer border, encompassing scrolling foliage and sweeping pierced architectural motifs. At the centre is a rectangular border of diagonal inlay, inside which sits a bird within a cityscape. The interior arrangement of one long drawer with three separate drawer fronts across its façade; below a central door flanked on either side by four short drawers; set below a long drawer fronted as two drawers. Each drawer front is inlaid with a bird set within trees and foliage in the foreground, positioned against a cityscape. The external corners of the cabinet mounted with brass. With two carrying handles - one on each side.

The central door opens to reveal a set of drawers, which can be removed to reveal a secret compartment which contains four hidden drawers. On the reverse there is some unclear Old German script which reads: ‘Made by a cabinet maker [in or from] Saint Blasier. Brought to Schwanwald, near Lutsliegh [or Liechtenstein].’ There is a date - ‘30 March’- and it includes the comment: ‘How long I have been working on this big task you would not believe it.’ The text suggests that this cabinet is either the work of an apprentice, used to demonstrate an apprentice’s skills or a piece to demonstrate teaching skills.

From the middle of the 16th Century, Augsburg had witnessed an extraordinary ascendency as a centre of furniture production for the international market, a new phenomenon at the time. 16th Century Augsburg marquetry almost invariably depicted ruins, as appear on the present cabinet. Such 16th Century marquetry remained highly popular throughout later ages and was frequently adapted to new uses. 16th Century marquetry of this kind remained highly popular throughout later ages and was frequently adapted to new uses. Tyrol was inspired by Augsburg cabinets.
In her book ‘Der Wrangelschrank und die verwandten süddeutschen Intarsienmöbel des 16. Jahrhunderts’ (Deutscher Verein für Kunstwissenschaft, 1956), Lieselotte Möller discusses 16th Century inlaid furniture from South Germany. She illustrates a number of ‘Schreibkästchen’ and ‘Schreibtisch’ (‘writing caskets’ and ‘writing tables’), which bear similar designs to our cabinet:
Figure 132: a late 16th Century Tyrolean writing casket, housed in the Tiroler Volkunstmuseum in Innsbruck. The fold-down front panels with a similar design to our cabinet – with a comparable composition consisting of a bird perched on a branch on each side, decorated using a similar foliage design. Both panels surrounded by a similar border pattern.
Figure 138: a writing casket from Tyrol, dated end of the 16th Century, from the Hallwylska Museet, Stockholm, Kat.-Nr.44. The interior drawers with a similar foliage motif, with a similar buildings design to those inlaid on the interior surfaces our cabinet, and a comparable leaf design on the inside of both the fall fronts. The metal mouldings on the external corners of the box are also of a similar design.
Figure 173: a writing table from Tyrol, dated 1580-90, illustrated from the rear and housed in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, Kat.-Nr. 68. The two birds framing the central motif are of a comparable design to those on the front face of our cabinet.
Figure 185: a writing table from South Germany, dated from the second half of the 16th Century, from a Private Collection in Luzern, Kat.-Nr. 74. The front of the cabinet has a similar design to the interior fall front, with comparable spiraling branches, a related leaf design and sweeping pierced architectural motifs. The slanted inlay on the borders of this writing table can also be seen on our cabinet. With similar carrying handles on each side, and the metal mouldings on the external corners of the box are also of a similar design.
Dimensions
Height 115.00 cm (45.28 inches)
Width 51.50 cm (20.28 inches)
Depth 34.00 cm (13.39 inches)
Stock Code
513a
Medium
Marquetry inlaid - various woods
Thomas Coulborn & Sons

Thomas Coulborn & Sons
Vesey Manor
64 Birmingham Road
Sutton Coldfield
West Midlands
B72 1QP
England

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