An important Roman 17th century ormolu and pietre dure mounted ebony cabinet
Lot 32
An important Roman 17th century and later ormolu and pietre dure mounted ebony cabinet
£80,000 - 120,000
US$ 140,000 - 200,000
Lot Details
An important Roman 17th century and later ormolu and pietre dure mounted ebony cabinet
of architectural form inlaid with various marbles and pietre dure including lapis lazuli, agate, jaspe, brocatello rosso, rosso antico, alabastro, cipollino and porphyry, surmounted by four bronze putti each playing a musical instrument, above five short drawers each fronted by a panel of red porphyry within a rippled surround, the open niche flanked to each side by six drawers, the parquet floor centred by two figures of Atlas supporting a pediment, the sides and angles mounted with lapis columns, the belgian black marble back inlaid with strapwork cartouches and shells of various marbles, the parcel-gilt and painted ceiling en trompe l'oeil, above a frieze of four drawers, on a shaped base with bun feet, centred to the front by a short drawer, the interior with 19th century dealer's paper label inscribed meuble provenant du Palais imp du Bing/ ne ...l'archiduchesse Marie de Baviere 1571+1616/ l'a fait venir comme tous ses objets de luxe de Munich/ Ant. Burg...gasse. Graz, on a later base fronted by four drawers with similar marble panels, on tapering scroll supports, each joined by a stretcher, on bun feet, 205cm wide, 58.5cm deep, 211cm high (80.5" wide, 23" deep, 83" high).

Footnotes

  • Elements of this cabinet are comparable to an important group of 17th century pietra dura cabinets made in Rome; a group exemplified by the magnificent specimen sold Sotheby's, 6th July 2011, London, Lot 3 (£668,450). This, in turn, is closely related to cabinets in prestigious collections, such as the Duke of Hamilton's cabinet, the Demidoff Cabinet (sold Sotheby's, Monaco, 20th June 1992) and another in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna.

    The cabinet offered here has been altered - the curved bank of cartouche-shaped reserves which form the central section of this cabinet, whilst probably period, are likely to be a later insertion or alteration - but the arch-shaped central 'door', its pediment, and the design and decoration of the flanking banks of drawers bear a resemblance to the cabinets above. The example in Vienna also has gilt figural terms either side of the central door.

    The significance of the late 19th or early 20th century paper label to the drawer of this cabinet is unclear. It probably refers to Maria Anna of Bavaria (1574 - 1616), daughter of William V, Duke of Bavaria, and the wife of Ferdinand II (1578 – 1637), a member of the House of Hapsburg, Holy Roman Emperor (1619 – 1637), King of Bohemia (1617 – 1619 & 1620 – 1637), and King of Hungary (1618 – 1625). His rule coincided with the Thirty Years' War.

    Literature:
    - For an example in a private collection see A. Gonzalez-Palacios, Il Tempio del Gusto, Roma e il Regno delle due Sicilie (Milan, 1984), Vol. II, p. 94.
    - Another example in Rome is reproduced in G. Lizzani, Il Mobile Romano (Milan, 1970), p. 16.
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