pictorial marquetry on top, front, sides, inside the lid, inside the doors, and throughout the inner drawer fronts and inner cabinet doors; images of soldiers and knights, some with horses, fighting various real and mythological animals and men; elaborate scrolls and floral edging with birds, animals, and various flowers and foliage; back on cabinet, inner top, and inner doors veneered in marquetry simulating paneling; wood of various shades including green; heavy metal handles on each short side; elaborate metals corners and hardware on inside and outside with scrolling motifs and bluing; compartments and drawers numbered in blue chalk; three keys; two secret compartments behind inner central removable section with four drawers on each side

Table cabinet, c. 1560-1570

Unknown artist, expand_more

Elaborately veneered cabinets were a specialty of German cabinetmakers in the 1500s and 1600s, appealing to titled and wealthy patrons across Europe. The most sumptuous, like this one, were made in Augsburg, a city of wealth and sophistication, and were prized as much for the materials, scale, and complexity of their decoration as for the precious objects inside. Every surface of this cabinet is veneered, with several varieties of wood cut and pieced together like a puzzle.

The imagery is based on engravings of the time, such as armored figures in close combat, slaying mythical creatures—including a unicorn and a dragon—or hunting wild animals. These scenes are set against a dense background of scrolling decoration and leaves inhabited by fruit, flowers, birds, and other creatures, as well as symbols of military might.

Augsburg was arguably the most renowned center for the production of luxury goods of all kinds, the most prized being silver, arms and armor, and furniture—finely wrought objects that attracted craftsmen from across Europe. This cabinet well represents the great technical skill, inspired design, and use of precious materials for which Augsburg was known. It is in extremely good condition and fits nicely into the collection as an early example of Northern furniture-making.

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pictorial marquetry on top, front, sides, inside the lid, inside the doors, and throughout the inner drawer fronts and inner cabinet doors; images of soldiers and knights, some with horses, fighting various real and mythological animals and men; elaborate scrolls and floral edging with birds, animals, and various flowers and foliage; back on cabinet, inner top, and inner doors veneered in marquetry simulating paneling; wood of various shades including green; heavy metal handles on each short side; elaborate metals corners and hardware on inside and outside with scrolling motifs and bluing; compartments and drawers numbered in blue chalk; three keys; two secret compartments behind inner central removable section with four drawers on each side