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.