Antiques - Furniture
Reference: Z6811

Italian-style cabinet, 18th century. Tortoiseshell, wood and gilt bronze. Open sample desk made of wood, with the central part forward and highlighted with a double chapel of architectural composition. Each of the sides has five drawers with the front decorated with tortoiseshell and an elaborate gilt bronze lock shield (two rampant lions facing each other, placed on a garland and with a crowned shield between them, in which is the hole for the key). The center of the front has two levels: the lower one has four columns with entasis, two on each side and joined by an entablature and an upper finish in dark wood, and a series of golden metal elements in the center, among which stands out, sheltered under a semicircular arch, the figure of Hercules fighting against Caco (the giant who terrorized the Palatine Hill before the founding of Rome); the upper one has some moldings forming some cajeos, with an important heraldic shield in the center, all enhanced with scrolls to the sides, and different elements in golden metal, of classicist inspiration. The general scheme of the furniture responds to a very widespread and valued model in 17th century Europe of which the best examples have been, as a general rule, those made in Italy, and which continued into the 18th century without breaking the compositional clarity of the one that shows off on this front but does change slight decorative details and elements in the area of the central chapel, above all. The practice of using tortoiseshell plates in furniture resurfaced in Europe during the 17th century. The high price and great demand for furniture with sea turtle shell are explained by the scarcity of the material, which was essential to import (usually from Central America) and that, for its work, highly specialized labor was required. As is normal for this type of furniture, also called “bins” for containing important documents, the tortoiseshell plaques were very often highlighted with gilded metal decorations, the use of bronze being very normal for this.

· Size: 69x137x160 cms.

15.000,00 €

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