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Italian fine 17th Cabinet
Italian fine 17th Cabinet - Furniture Style Italian fine 17th Cabinet - Italian fine 17th Cabinet - Antiquités - Italian fine 17th Cabinet
Ref : 83489
Period :
<= 16th century
Medium :
Ebony, Ivory
Dimensions :
l. 25 inch X H. 13.39 inch X P. 15.35 inch
Furniture  - Italian fine 17th Cabinet <= 16th century - Italian fine 17th Cabinet  - Italian fine 17th Cabinet Antiquités - Italian fine 17th Cabinet
Franck Baptiste Provence

French Regional and Parisian furniture

+33 (0)6 45 88 53 58
Italian fine 17th Cabinet

Ebony and ivory cabinet engraved with scenes from the genesis, Northern Italy XVIth.

Extremely rare cabinet in ebony, rosewood and ivory opening with a vertical flap on the front which reveals thirteen drawers.
The exterior has a geometric decoration of nets and ivory squares engraved on a rosewood background on the front and on the sides.
The front of the flap adorned with two scenes from the twelve labors of Hercules, on the left Hercules killing the hydra of Lerna, on the right Hercules choking the Nemean lion.
The thirteen interior drawers adorned with ivory plaques finely engraved with scenes from Genesis after illustrations by Bernard Salomon * from Claude Paradin's "Historical Quadrins of the Bible", published by Jean de Tournes in Lyon in 1555.

Scenes on the drawers:

First row: 1-God created the world; 2-God created Adam; 3- Jacob's dream (in the middle of the top square drawer); 4-God created Eve; 5- Adam and Eve eat the forbidden fruit

Second row on the same drawer on the left: 6-Adam and Eve hide their nakedness with fig leaves and 7-God punishes Adam and Eve

Still on the second row and on the same drawer on the right: 8-Adam and Eve are driven out of Paradise and 9-The suffering of Adam and Eve

Third row: 10-Offering of Cain and Abel; 11-Cain kills Abel; 12-Noah's Ark

Fourth row: 13-Le Déluge; 14-The waters recede; 15-Noah's offering; 16-God announces to Noah that he will no longer curse the earth

Beautiful finely engraved wrought iron ornamentation: carrying handles, spandrels, side bolts and hasp lock.

Softwood core; bottom of drawers in cherry wood.

On a softwood trestle table in its original black lacquer and gilding.
Model with smooth barrels and wrought iron spacer.

Rare state of preservation.

Work from northern Italy or southern Switzerland around 1580.


Cabinet: Height: 34 cm; Width: 63.5 cm; Depth: 39 cm
Trestle table: Height: 90 cm; Width: 85 cm; Depth: 43 cm
Total height: 124 cm

* Bernard SALOMON said little Bernard (1506-1561) was born around 1506, probably in Lyon.

He worked in Lyon from 1540 as a painter, draftsman and engraver.

He participates, on behalf of the Municipality, in the decoration of "solemn entry" such as that of King Henry II or of Governor Jacques d'Albon. He also draws up maps for municipalities such as Brignais, Saint-Genis-Laval… He paints murals for individuals.

He illustrates works of science and literature with “emblems” and works mainly for Jean de TOURNES, who quotes his name in the two masterpieces of the 16th century edition in Lyon, Les Métamorphoses d'Ovide and la Bible.

His biblical illustrations appear, according to the editions and re-editions, under various titles (Small suite for the Old Testament, Large suite for the two Testaments, Bible, Quatrains, Quadrins, Figures ...), in various languages ??(Latin, French, Italian, English…), with the names of the authors of epigrams (in French by Claude Paradin and Charles Fontaine, Latin by Guillaume Paradin, Italian by Damiano Mariani, German by Caspar Scheit, English by Peter Derendel and Flemish by Guillaune Borluyt).

His drawings don't just put an image on a text, they also give it meaning for understanding. "The freedom of interpretation of the engraving can therefore engage the theological significance of the episode."

His influence is great, and of his time with disciples who became competitors like Pierre ESKRICH, and subsequently on various arts (painting, engraving, enamel, earthenware, tapestry, silk, cabinetmaking…).

Our opinion :

The cabinet we are presenting was designed after the end of the Italian Wars (1559) and during the First Religious War (1562-1598) which saw tens of thousands of Protestants flee France to avoid persecution.
Many elements lead us to think that the sponsor of our travel agency was one of these exiles, can be installed in Switzerland.
First, the teaching of genesis was strongly encouraged at this time by Reformed theologians who urged people to read the bible and increased the number of editions in popular languages, very often decorated with vignettes.
Then the chosen scenes are not trivial, they end with the sacrifice of Noah and the promise of God to no longer strike humans, which strongly echoes the unjustifiable persecutions of which the Protestants are victims.
In the center of the cabinet, a scene luxuriously framed with a frieze attracts attention, it is finely engraved on a larger, square drawer; chronologically it does not correspond to the others.
This event, which takes place later in genesis, represents Jacob's dream, with the ladder (the link between heaven and earth) which appears to him in a dream and god who renews his alliance with his fathers.
This full scene

Franck Baptiste Provence


Cabinet & Chest