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A FLEMISH TORTOISESHELL, SILVER-MOUNTED, EBONY AND EBONISED TABLE CABINET
Prospective purchasers are advised that several co… Read more
A FLEMISH TORTOISESHELL, SILVER-MOUNTED, EBONY AND EBONISED TABLE CABINET

ANTWERP, CIRCA 1660

Details
A FLEMISH TORTOISESHELL, SILVER-MOUNTED, EBONY AND EBONISED TABLE CABINET
ANTWERP, CIRCA 1660
The rectangular hinged and concave-shaped top with secret compartment, enclosing a mirror flanked by tortoiseshell plaques to the reverse and a red velours lined plain interior, above a hinged fall front with etched silver plaque to the reverse depciting three biblical scenes and various sized drawers with silver etched plaques depicting scrolling foliage, the canted angles with baluster turned half-pilasters above a moulded plinth and bun-feet
9¾ in. (25 cm.) high x 9 5/8 in. (24.5 cm.) wide x 6¾ in. (17 cm.) deep
Special notice

Prospective purchasers are advised that several countries prohibit the importation of property containing materials from endangered species, including but not limited to coral, ivory and tortoiseshell. Accordingly, prospective purchasers should familiarize themselves with relevant customs regulations prior to bidding if they intend to import this lot into another country.

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Paul Van Den Biesen
Paul Van Den Biesen

Lot Essay

In the 17th century Antwerp became the center of cabinet making. Mighty tradesmen controlled the manufacture of cabinets that was entirely focused on an international market. The cabinet became an export product and was sold all over Europe. The tradesmen were very receptive to the differing tastes of their clients. Ebony was already available in Antwerp since the late 16th century via Cadiz and other Spanish harbours. After 1602 Amsterdam became an important supplier of this highly valued material. Tortoise only became popular in around 1640 for cabinetmakers in Antwerp. The present cabinet is a wonderful example of this fine combination of ebony and tortoise. Comparable caskets with silver panels are illustrated in Antwerps zilver uit de 17de en 18de eeuw, 1989, plate 57.

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