This beautiful oakwood chest stands on a bracket-shaped base. The facade comprises five recessed panels incorporated in the structure. Those panels, carved in high-relief, depict a subject originating during the Antiquity, particularly favoured by cabinet-makers of the Haute-Normandie region as early as the beginning of the 16th century ; the Cardinal and Theological Virtues. However, because there are nine panels, the artist has represented twice the same virtue. Between each panel are applied carved baluster-shaped columns with a foliated decor.
The facade is centred by the figure of Charity. On her left stand Fortitude and Temperance while on her right are Fortitude and Prudence.
On the left side of the chest can be found Temperance and Justice and on the right side, Faith and Hope.
Each virtue appears on a trompe-l’œil architectural background figuring round arches. They are dressed according to the fashion of the Renaissance. The artist has represented them as if they were about to dance thus explaining their nickname “Dancing Virtues”. Their attitude as well as the lively drapes of their clothes are treated in a very Mannerist manner allowing us to date this chest from 1580-1590.
The chest retains its original finely chiselled hasp-lock that completes the beautiful decor of the piece.
A similar chest is kept in the collections of the Museum of Antiquities of Rouen, France.