German mannerist marquetry and carved cabinet, fassadenschrank. The façade is arranged in the form of a Palladian building front with three double columned “bays” and two marquetry “window” panels depicting vases of flowers in a complex frame surmounted by a round broken pediment. The façade is embellished with superb walnut carvings in the “auricular” style consisting of angels, putti, and faces. The bases of the columns are carved with bare-breasted women with acanthus scroll “skirts” who are wearing stylized crowns or head feathers. The upper façade is raised on a plinth containing five marquetry drawers. Each side is decorated with marquetry panels and is provided with a large wrought iron drop carrying handle. The marquetry frieze under the top depicts native and exotic animals including a lion, camels, and elephants.
The top is marquetried with two large panels containing ovals depicting facing dolphins from whose mouths issue scrolled flower stems.
The top lifts to reveal the oak interior which has a marquetry inner side compartment with a hinged top and two hinged mock drawers opening to reveal a small storage area. The oak is very fine grained, particularly heavy and hard. The large steel reticulated hinges and hasp are engraved with scrolls and elephant heads. The steel lock plate is also engraved with scrolls containing elephant heads. [Some replacements to the marquetry on the top.]
Ex Collection: Tylney Hall, England. (See Town & Country – March 15, 1927. Page 68)