Oak and pine veneered with partly stained and ebonized maple, plum, ash, with etched, blued, and parcel gilt iron fittingsexpand_more
The John R. Van Derlip Fund, the John and Ruth Huss Fund for Decorative Arts, and the Walter C. and Mary C. Briggs Trust Fundexpand_more 2018.15a-x
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.
Zoom in on the left to the detail you'd like to save. Click 'Save detail' and wait until the image updates. Right click the image to 'save image as' or copy link, or click the image to open in a new tab.