Of important size, and using the Arc-en-Arbalette form, constructed in Coromandel, Ebony and Harewood, with extensive exquisitely executed inlays of ivory, and comprehensively dressed with finely cast and chased fire gilt bronze mounts. Rising from toupie feet, with bronze acanthus leaves to the toes, and over, gadroon collars; the plinth having a central bronze tablet, flanked by ivory inlays in the Aesthetic taste, and ivory line inlays enclosing Coromandel panels; the plinth is capped by a running bronze band of stiff leaf design, and over, four ring turned and baluster columns, in Ebony, inlaid with Harewood, and heightened with ivory inlays, with bronze capitols and stiff leaf trimmings enclose the open incurved ends, with three tiers of mirror plate backed shelves dressed with arcaded bronze galleries: the pair of fielded panel lockable doors have exterior bronze frameworks, with roundels to the centres, depicting scenes from Antiquity, executed in ivory inlays on Ebony fields, with four symmetrically shaped Coromandel panels in the reserve, and having bronze paterea set in the angles. The upper frieze has a central tablet, depicting, in bronze, a central urn, emanating intertwined foliates, and having flanking ivory inlays. The platform is dressed with a running ‘pearl’ band, in bronze, and the back has an arcaded pierced bronze rail. Stamped to one door, ‘LAMB MANCHESTER 12 10 7’
James Lamb (1816-1903), in 1843 founded one of the most successful nineteenth-century regional British cabinetmakers, and commissioned work from notable designers, such as Bruce Talbert and Alfred Waterhouse, the designer of Manchester Town Hall. The quality of the firm's work was consistently high, and received the judges’ commendation for their ‘Art Furniture’ at the 1862 London Great Exhibition, exhibited at the Paris 1867 Exposition Universelle, and won a Gold Medal First Class for a cabinet in the Paris 1878 exhibition. A very fine aesthetic movement cabinet by Lamb is displayed in the Manchester City Art Gallery.