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    Sale 2811

    European Noble and Private Collections

    24 - 25 June 2008, Amsterdam

  • Lot 238



    Price Realised  


    The oversailing cornice above a carved frieze decorated with hippocamps, seacreatures and musical putti, above four doors divided by a frieze drawer carved in high relief with acanthus scrolls and frolicking putti, the doors to the superstructure applied with two cartouches carved with the coats-of-arms of the cities Amsterdam and Hoorn, flanked and divided by three allegorical figures of Hope, Faith and Love, the doors of the base applied with auricular cartouches each with a female figure allegorical of Industry and Temperance, and dated ANNO 1650, flanked and divided by fluted pilasters each headed by a Doric capital and terminating in a spreading base carved in relief with allegorical figures, the base drawer divided by lion's masks, on ebonised bun feet.
    216 cm. high x 172 cm. wide x 72 cm. deep

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    This extraodinary cupboard falls into a well documented group of cupboards known as 'Beeldenkast' or statue cupboard, because of the caryatids flanking and dividing the doors of the superstructure and in some cases also applied to the base. These cupboards were mainly made in the second quarter of the seventeenth century in the province of Holland. The earliest known example is one which is dated 1622. This cupboard was in the collection of William Randolph Hearst, before it was acquired by the Metropolitan Museum, New York. These costly cupboards were probably intended as dowry pieces or wedding gifts. They would be used to store valuable household linen and in most cases they would be the most important piece of furniture in the household. Typically the figural decorations were allegorical not only of religious virtues Faith, Hope and Love, but also refer to typical male and female virtues, such as Temperance and Industry. The Rijksmuseum owns a typical example, dating from circa 1630-1650, another very similar to the Rijksmuseum example was with Salomon Stodel Antiquites in 2000. Both of these cupboards are dated circa1630-50, and show a marked difference to the present lot which is dated 1650. The present cupboard, which shares the classic proportions and basic monumental architectonic design, also displays auricular decoration to the cartouches on the doors, and the acanthus brackets below the cornice.

    The anti-classical, fantastical auricular style was developed in the early 17th century by the Utrecht gold and silversmiths, Paulus (c. 1570-1613) and Adam (1568/69-1627) van Vianen. In the 1630's the great Amsterdam silversmith Johannes Lutma began working in this style. A large number of designs for precious objects by Adam van Vianen was published by his son Christiaen around 1650. Shortly thereafter a series of prints after Johannes Lutma and Gerbrand van den Eeckhout (1621-1674) were published in Amsterdam, these prints took the auricular style first used on silver objects and applied it on furniture designs such as tables, stands and cartouches.

    The carved frieze ornaments and figures of this imposing cupboard were not the work of a cabinet maker but the work of a sculptor. The figures of the present cupboard are comparable to figures on the oak pulpit in the Nieuwe Kerk, in Amsterdam. This pulpit was made by the sculptor Albert Vinckenbrinck (b Spaarndam, c. 1604; d Amsterdam, after 20 Aug 1664, before 12 Feb 1665) in 1648-1649. The figures on the pulpit like those on the present cupboard are boldly executed on aa large scale and very three dimensional, the ionic capitals are pressed back behind the heads of the figures and are borne on their shoulders. Especially the figure of charity; a female figure with a todler on her right and a baby on her arm, has been executed to the same design as the comparable figure by Vinckenbrink.
    Interestingly Joseph Estie notes that these cupboards were mainly produced in Amsterdam and Hoorn, the present cupboard displays the coats of arms of both towns possibly referring to the union between a couple from both of these towns.
    R. Baarsen, Twee meubelen uit 1622, Antiek, 1993.
    R. Baarsen, Dutch Furniture 1600-1800, Zwolle 1993, pp. 24-25, 34-35 & 40-41.
    J. Estie, The Splendour of the Dutch Interior 1600-1800, Zwolle, 2000, pp. 30-33.

    Special Notice

    Christie’s charges a premium to the buyer on the Hammer Price of each lot sold at the following rates: 29.75% of the Hammer Price of each lot up to and including €20,000, plus 23.8% of the Hammer Price between €20,001 and €800.000, plus 14.28% of any amount in excess of €800.000. Buyer’s premium is calculated on the basis of each lot individually.

    Saleroom Notice

    Please note this cupboard will be included in: L. van Aalst and A. Hofstede, Nederlandse Meubelen tussen 1600 en 1680, expected to be published in 2009.

    Pre-Lot Text



    Origine, Tijdschrift voor kunst antiek en interieur, Onschatbare waarde, Haarlem, 1991, p. 6.