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Antique Rare South German Intarsia Cabinet of Curiosities Circa 1700.

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Description:
Ref: JB609 
Rare South German  marquetry  table cabinet the hinged doors opening to a compartmentalized interior with nine drawers. The outside door panels are inlaid with depictions of birds and flowers.  The  inside   intarsia depicts quirky  architectural landscapes. Lorenz Stoer's Geometria et Perspectiva, which was published in 1567 inspired intarsia workers to execute work featuring buildings. They experimented with perspective often imbuing the designs with a touch of Moorish fantasy. The intarsia workers were mostly settled in Augsburg. Augsburg was a cabinet making centre since the beginning of the 14th C.  

Origin: South German;  Circa: 1700; Materials: various  woods on a pine carcass.

Size: 44 cm wide by 29.5 cm by 33.5 cm:  17.3  inches wide by 11.6  inches by   13.2 inches.

Condition: good overall considering age;  see images

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Table cabinets were made in Europe during the 16th and 17th centuries as miniature versions of large cabinets, or Spanish varguenos. Stylistically, they were not different from larger pieces of furniture, but instead of having their own stands, or standing directly on the floor, they were made to stand on a table, a desk, or in an alcove.

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One kind of work which influenced English craftsmen to a great extent was the decoration on cabinets, introduced from South Germany and Flanders , as early as the 16th century. These cabinets were inlaid with elaborate compositions representing mostly buildings. Lorenz Stoer's Geometria et Perspectiva, which was published in 1567 inspired intarsia workers to execute work featuring buildings. They experimented with perspective often imbuing the designs with a touch of Moorish fantasy. The intarsia workers were mostly settled in Augsburg. One important cabinet maker was known as Master H.S. His work was influential throughout Europe and even Italy, where elaborate marquetry had already been practiced for more then two centuries.

A particular characteristic of these cabinets was the extensive use of scorched woods, to introduce light and shade, within a very subtle range of color. This practice, on a smaller scale, was widely adopted for marquetry decoration on boxes during the second half of the 18th century.

Sometimes the South German cabinets are described as "Nonsuch", referring to the name of one of the palace of Henry VIII . This appears to be a 19th century term which has no justification, other than usage. The work on these pieces is extraordinary. They combine marquetry at its best, with a feel of the antique world of arcane mystery.

 

 

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 The inside is a feast of marquetry. 

 

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This cabinet is illustrated at page 274 of our book:

Antique Boxes, Tea Caddies, and Society, 1700--1880
Antigone Clarke & Joseph O'Kelly,
ISBN: 0764316885

All text and images and linked images are 1999-2011 Antigone Clarke and Joseph O'Kelly. If you require any further information on permitted use, or a licence to republish any material, email us at copyright@hygra.com