An Exceptional Augsburg 17th century silver-gilt mounted ebony Table Cabinet with Florentine pietre dure plaques from the Grand Ducal workshops by Elias Boscher, circa 1660
Sold for £482,500 in London, 5 December 2014

Art Market Review

Issue 9, July - December 2014

Page 14

This cabinet, known as the Ballyfin Cabinet, after the Irish stately home for which it was purchased in the first half of the 19th century, belongs to a rare group of important table cabinets from Augsburg, made during the 17th century, originally commissioned as a testimony to the status and intellect of wealthy patrons. It is one of a few surviving examples of this genre to bear the maker's signature, 'Elias Boscher', on the underside, together with 'gemacht', meaning 'made'. Furthermore, the silver-gilt mounts are impressed with the hallmark of known Augsburg silversmith Johann Spitzmacher. The pietre dure panels – marble inlaid with designs depicting birds and flowers in lapis lazuli and other hard stones – were produced by the Florentine Grand Ducal Workshops, or 'Opificio delle Pietre Dure.' Within this stunning museum-quality cabinet are some 40-plus drawers or compartments, some hidden, and all lined with exotic silks and intricate wooden marquetry. The cabinet's relatively recent discovery in 2006 represents a significant addition to this exceptional category of furniture.

François Le Brun
Director of European Furniture

Related auctions