Neoclassical Dutch Mahogany Linen Press, Holland c.1790
Neoclassical Dutch Mahogany Linen Press, Holland c.1790. This impressive piece showcases the best of Dutch cabinet making from the end of the eighteenth century. Not only is the mahogany timber of superb quality but the satinwood inlay as well as the carved details are combined in a manner that is visually compelling. The unusual pierced crown of open circles centred upon a raised pediment is a particularly Dutch motif along with the square tapered feet at the front of the lower chest of drawers. Originally this cabinet was used for the storage of fine items of apparel with trousers being laid out lengthwise in the top cabinet upon the wide shelves. Please note that when the upper doors are unlocked that each door not only is able to be opened to a full one hundred eighty degrees but that the interior side of each door is also mahogany with inlay decoration. There are also four drawers on the interior with the lower drawers fixed with a brass handle pull with the drawers beneath the drawers in the centre being opened by pulling on the underside. Again, all of the mahogany visible is highlighted with contrasting coloured satinwood. The use of two differently coloured timbers reflects the fact that at the end of the eighteenth century the available light in a interior was derived from a fire in the hearth as well as lighted candles. The beautiful reflection originally seen from natural sources remains as beautiful in a contemporary interior where electric light is used as when the cabinet was originally created. The Neoclassical aspect of this piece derives from the balanced and symmetrical placement of the decorative elements of inlay and carving. A close inspection of all of the additional photographs provided (please be sure to use the zoom feature offered on our website) reveals the high level of artistry in both design and execution on this cabinet. The oval medallions seen in the centre of each door are a alighter colour and made of individual pieces of timber and shaded to give a three dimensional appearance. The medallions are repeated on each side of the cabinet on the upper and lower sections while a half medallion is used to direct the eye to the lower edge at the centre of each of the three drawers in the chest at the base. The satinwood is also used to outline a rectangular shape on each of the two cabinet doors as well as to create an intriguing pattern of square diamonds on each of the canted corners on the left and right. Even the frieze beneath the crown of pierced circles features a zigzag pattern of satinwood. Along with the contrast created by the inlay the use of expertly carved motifs enhances the sense of symmetry and beauty of the linen press. Please look at the ribbons and swags on each of the cabinet doors and note how they are complementary to each other. The ribbons and swags simulate the folds of fabric and have been carefully depicted with their folds and pleats in the same manner they would be if they adorned a lavish interior. The lower area of each cabinet door has a fully realized urn and the canted corners of the chest have a robust carving of swagged laurel wreaths that add sculptural dimension. The neoclassical cast bronze handles on the drawers are each oval in shape with a side portrait enclosed by a floral wreath with each lock plate (escutcheon) covered with an oval plate that moves to the side to admit a key. The upper cabinet doors each have a tall escutcheon with a lidded urn flanked by swags that stands upon an architecturally inspired base. This use of a contrasting material, metal, against the figured timber adds another degree of luxuriousness to the entire cabinet. This linen press was always an important element in the overall design of a Dutch interior and retains its cachet and desirability in the twentieth century as a piece to both enjoy and use.
WIDTH: 61 in | HEIGHT: 89 in | DEPTH: 21 in
Shipping Estimate: $500 | White glove
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