This impressive corner cupboard or hoekbuffet is embellished with intricate burr-walnut veneers resembling marbles and demonstrates the strong English influence on Dutch cabinet-making in the first half of the 18th Century. In fact in this period many Dutch cabinet-makers called their products 'English' in sale notices and advertisements.
Large corner cupboards were originally used as a buffet in a dining-room. The interior is fitted with shaped shelves for the display of silver and glass objects, and a cooler would be placed in the lower section (R.J. Baarsen, Nederlandse Meubelen, Zwolle, 1993, pp. 96-97).
The interior of the present example is patricularly striking and is fittingly decorated with elegant black-and gilt-japanning depicting courtly figures, pagoda's and exotic landscapes. In Amsterdam, imitations of oriental lacquer were made as early as 1610 by Willem Kick, who executed a large coffer which was presented to the Sultan of Turkey by the States General in 1612 (Stefan van Raay (ed.), Imitation and Inspiration, Japanese influence on Dutch Art, Amsterdam, 1989, pp. 47-49.)
The lacquerers were inspired by motifs on Japanese and Chinese porcelain and by European prints. An important source was John Stalker and George Parker's Treatise on Japanning and Varnishing, published in 1688, which included several recipes for black and gold decoration and numerous engravings with patterns to illustrate the arts of the Orient. Another, slightly earlier source was J. Nieuhof's Het Gezantschap der Neerlandse Ost-Indische Compagnie aan den Grooten Tartarische Cham, den tegenwoordigen Keizer van China, etc..., published in Amsterdam in 1665, which described the first Dutch mission to the Chinese Emperor in 1655-1657 (J. Hardy, 'Lacquerwork in Asia and beyond', Colloquies on Art & Archaeology in Asia, (11) London, 1981, pp. 159-165).
See illustration and frontcover