11323

A RARE POLYCHROME AND PARCEL-GILT HANGING WALL CABINET WITH FLORAL AND EXOTIC BIRD DECORATION

Probably Netherlands. Late 17th or early 18th Century.

Measurements

Height: 49" (124.4 cm); Width: 33" (83.8 cm); Depth: 17 1/4" (43.8 cm).

Resesarch
The molded breakfront cornice surmounted by a carved giltwood shell and water spray motif, above a single four-pane glazed cabinet door, enclosing three shaped shelves. The sides of the cabinet also glazed. The polychrome decoration to the exterior and interior painted with flowers and birds. The whole raised on four turned compressed bun feet and two rear block feet.

The cabinet is a rare survival of late 17th or early 18th century North European painted furniture in a near perfect state of preservation. The paint work is almost entirely unrestored and it retains its original glazing, shelves and feet. The shelves are notable for their elegant concave shaping and perhaps were employed to display precious Chinese porcelain or Delftware.

The robustly conceived late Baroque shell-form giltwood and acanthine crest and bulbous feet reinforces the view that it is of a Netherlandish origin, created for a wealthy sophisticated interior.

The cabinet’s painted motifs owe a particular debt to Netherlandish Golden Age still life painting, and flower painting in particular, where colorful and brightly lit arrangements stand out from dark, sometimes almost black, backgrounds. Artists typically portrayed bouquets of the imagination, which never could have existed in reality. Such floral ensembles included flowers from different countries, different continents, and flowers blooming in different seasons. Furthermore, some blooms depicted were of such high caliber that they would not have been cut for temporary display in a vase. Identifiable flowers on the present cabinet include ranunculus, daffodils, tulips, jasmine, and anemone.  The birds depicted are possibly fantastical evocations of tropical fowl.

Full research report available on request.

Full research report available on request.