The exceptional shape and ambitious design of this bureau cabinet which is conceived almost as a piece of architecture, place it firmly amongst the most important masterful cabinet work produced in Mainz in the mid to late-18th Century, the domed cupola, exaggerated scroll mouldings, curvaceous bombé surfaces and fine wood carving are notable characteristics of Mainz cabinets of the period.
Our knowledge of cabinet-making in Mainz in the 18th Century is mainly based on the survival of a large number of Meisterzeichnungen and corresponding Meisterstëcke or masterpieces, which were submitted by a cabinet-maker joiner in order to become a master. These designs, of which 106 examples dated between 1676 and 1816 are known, demonstrate the stylistic development and characteristic features of Mainz cabinet-work as well as the continuous high level of execution, which was maintained under the scrutiny of the guild, much supported by the Court of the Elector. (H. Zinnkann,'Das Schreinerhandwerk der Stadt Mainz im Vergleich mit Mannheim und Karlsruhe' in R. Strattmann-Döhler, Möbel für den Fürstenhof, Sigmaringen, 1994, p. 87).
A similar Cantourgen from Mainz with related design was sold at Christie's New York 22 October 2003, Lot 740.
Further comparable examples of the most important Cantourgen are shown in H. Kreisel, Die Kunst des deutschen Möbels, München, 1970, pl. 1029-1034.