The credence (Italian Credenza), was a piece of furniture that reflected the wealth and influence of its owner. It was used to house precious silver items to be used on the table, such as ewers, chalices and salvers. These items would be placed on top of the credence before they were served at the table.
The credence is the result of the marriage between the hanging cupboard and the chest on short legs. It originated in Flanders in the late 15th century. From there this type of furniture spread to France, England and the Netherlands. It was the earliest piece of storage furniture not designed to be constantly moved, and is the precursor of the cupboard and cabinet.
The present lot is richly carved and has finely pierced metal mounts. The fountain carved in the central panel possibly represents the fountain of youth. A fountain may also symbolize the source of spiritual life and salvation.