Categories: Furniture |

A Flemish tortoiseshell and ebony cabinet, mid 17th Century.

The cabinet has a pair of doors enclosing an arrangement of ten drawers grouped around a central architectural cupboard.

This encloses an arcaded and mirrored interior with the figure of Cupid in the centre.

The cupboard doors and each of the drawers are set with a painted copper panel depicting a mythological scene, including the Triumph of Perseus, Orpheus among the Satyrs and Nymphs and Aurora and Narcissus.

With panelled sides and brass carrying handles, a pair of plain drawers in the base and a slide.

Now on a George III ebonised stand with square chamfered legs, the whole 168cm by 106cm.

The paintings are in the style of Frans Wouters (1612-1659), a Flemish Baroque painter who translated the large canvases of Sir Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640) into small cabinet paintings.

However, the Venus and Adonis on the left hand door is thought to be the only panel based on an actual Rubens composition, and all the panels are now considered to be the work of Flemish journeymen artists circa 1660.

The cabinet is recorded in the 1690 Devonshire Schedule, an inventory listing an enormous bequest from Elizabeth, Countess of Devonshire (1619-1689), to her daughter Anne, Countess of Exeter (1649-1703).

Under the heading ‘Household Goods’ appears:..’A Large Ebony Cabinett painted with Landskipps and ffigures on the outside on a Guilt Carv’d fframe.’


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