EXCEPTIONAL RED TORTOISESHELL CABINET WITH A MOTHER-OF-PEARL DECOR

EXCEPTIONAL RED TORTOISESHELL CABINET WITH A MOTHER-OF-PEARL DECOR

 

ORIGIN : HISPANIC WORK (SPAIN OR PORTUGAL)
PERIOD : 17th CENTURY

 

Height : 190 cm
Length : 134 cm
Depth : 53 cm

 

 

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Description

The cabinet’s architectural facade opens with twelve drawers framing a portico adorned with carved ivory plates and ebony mouldings.

Upper left : Saint Anthony of Padua carrying the infant Jesus. In the centre a traditional depiction of Saint Francis of Assisi. On the right side Saint John of the Cross. Lower left : the woman carrying a lamb in her arms could be Saint Agnes. In the centre Saint Jerome holding a vanitas topped by putti holding the five Wounds of Christ. This iconography draws a link between Jerome and Francis of Assisi receiving the Stigmatas. Because he shared the same pain he was perceived as a second Christ. In the lower right corner Saint Clare of Assisi. The central door hides three red tortoiseshell and carved ivory drawers depicting hunting scenes.

Each side of the cabinet bears two pairs of twisted semi-column. On the upper part six ivory vases top an open-worked balustrade.

The richly carved cabinet’s base is adorned with godroons and a leaf-carved belt. This base is composed of five twisted columns linked by an H-shaped crossbar standing on turned wood feet.

  

HISTORIC

Between the 15th and 18th century the growth and development of some European countries and cities was directly connected to the colonial politic of expansion based on the establishment of trading posts and the governance of distant lands. During thi period Spain was one of the most powerful European nations. With Flanders they virtually reigned over all the main seaways known. Of course this situation came from the discovery of the American continent during the late 15th century. It allowed Europe, and especially the Iberian Peninsula to start an extraordinary economic development.