Rare and beautiful cabinet in ebony veneer opening with two leaves and two drawers at the top.
The bas-reliefs on the facade represent two scenes from Genesis.
They are surrounded by a circular frame carved with oak tori and guilloche rods with geometric decoration forming spandrel hearts.
The scenes represent, on the left, "the sacrifice of Isaac" with Abraham preparing to kill his son, and on the right, "Jacob's struggle with the angel" the latter holding Jacob, who has just returned to Canaan.
These two sculptures come from the engravings of Bernard Salomon (1506-1561), published in “The historical quatrains of the Bible” by Claude Paradin, edited by Jean De Tournes in Lyon in 1555.
The two leaves reveal an interior with nine drawers, four per side, plus one hidden in the capitals of the two columns.
The central part in the form of a tabernacle, framed by two twisted Solomonic columns, is decorated with a terrace where stands a virgin and child in gilded bronze.
It opens with a leaf revealing an interior theater simulating a castle alley lined with trees by an ingenious trompe-oeil system.
Made up of oil-painted brass and semicircular mirrors, our theater gives the illusion of a much longer perspective, the effect of which is further amplified by a multicolored checkered floor.
On each side take place two rows of five small drawers, plus two in the middle which conceal a secret compartment accessible by a simple pull of the separating crosspiece. (view the photo)
The reverse of the door features a lively polychrome marquetry of ivory, ebony, amaranth and fruitwood on a rosewood background decorated with a rosette framed by interwoven geometric patterns.
The finely engraved brass lock with a bouquet of tulips.
The base consists of a belt opening with two drawers on the front, separated by half-capitals with acanthus windings.
Like a Greek temple, the belt rests on two exceptional caryatids in blackened wood, representing puttis kneeling one on top of the other and trampling on the head of a bear, symbol of strength.
The back panel sculpted with an arrest scene; probably the arrest of christ, with soldiers armed with spears; the scene framed by geometric moldings and finely engraved with garlands of fruit, puttis, blowing cherubs ...
The two lateral sides of the sculpted panel decorated with geometric reserves delimited by guilloche moldings.
Ebony veneer, blackened fruit wood, fir core, solid oak back.
Very good condition, (cracks, small used restorations)
The entirely original upper part of the cabinet, its partly 17th century base (caryatids and sculpted panel) with 19th century restorations (belt, side reserves framing the central back panel and spacer shelf)
Parisian work from the Louis XIII period around 1640.
Height: 164 cm; Width: 112 cm; Depth: 50cm
Provenance: Castle of Puisaye
Parisian cabinets in ebony kept in museums:
-Chateau de Serrant
-Museum of the Renaissance Écouen
-Metropolitan museum New York
-San Francisco Legion of Honor Museum
-Windsor Castle, England
-Museum of the Hermitage, Saint Petersburg (Russia)
A time of exuberance, the decorative arts under Louis XIII and Anne of Austria, Paris, Editions de la Réunion des Musées Nationaux, 2002, pp. 236-237.
Alcouffe Daniel, Dion-Tenenbaum Anne, Lefébure Amaury, The furniture of the Louvre museum, t. 1, Dijon, Editions Faton, 1993, pp. 52-59.
Valérie Charpentier, pSecret d´ébène, The Odyssey cabinet at the Château de Fontainebleau, Edition Faton
Our opinion :
Before the 17th century, furniture was made only in massive native woods by "huchiers", the appearance of these ebony-veneered cabinets led to the search for a new name for these craftsmen who often came from Holland and it is thus was born the term "cabinetmaker".
These large ebony cabinets have a very important place in the French decorative arts because they mark the birth of Parisian cabinetmaking.
If at first art historians attributed this small corpus of ten cabinets to Jean Macé, Louis XIII cabinetmaker living at the Louvre, today they agree to give the kinship of a good number of these pieces to Adriaan Garbrand and his son-in-law Pierre Gole (1620-1684), both of Dutch origin and established in the Faubourg Saint-Germain.
The backs of the doors of the cabinet niche kept at the Château de Serrant display the same polychrome marquetry that can be seen on the first pieces of furniture by Pierre Gole.
3 200 €
45 000 €
3 800 €