Object Description

This is a lovely antique Sorrento olive wood and marquetry hanging display cabinet, circa 1880 in date.

It is beautifully decorated with an intricate hand cut marquetry of people in costumes typical of the Sorrento region.

This fabulous marquetry work was accomplished by an Italian master craftsman working in the beautiful city of Sorrento in Southern Italy where the best lemons are grown to make Limoncello.

The cabinet has a glazed door and beautiful fretwork at the top and bottom.

Complete with original working lock and key.

It is a beautiful piece which would look beautiful in any home office or library.

Condition:
In excellent condition having been beautifully restored in our workshops, please see photos for confirmation.

Dimensions in cm:
Height 51 x Width 43 x Depth 12

Dimensions in inches:
Height 20.1 x Width 16.9 x Depth 4.7

Olive
is a small tree or shrub that grows up to 8–15 m tall with thorny branches. The wood of that tree is very hard and therefore suitable for making furniture. The tree main producers in Europe are: Spain, Italy and Turkey.

Marquetry
is decorative artistry where pieces of material (such as wood, mother of pearl, pewter, brass silver or shell) of different colours are inserted into surface wood veneer to form intricate patterns such as scrolls or flowers.

The technique of veneered marquetry had its inspiration in 16th century Florence. Marquetry elaborated upon Florentine techniques of inlaying solid marble slabs with designs formed of fitted marbles, jaspers and semi-precious stones. This work, called opere di commessi, has medieval parallels in Central Italian “Cosmati”-work of inlaid marble floors, altars and columns. The technique is known in English as pietra dura, for the “hardstones” used: onyx, jasper, cornelian, lapis lazuli and colored marbles. In Florence, the Chapel of the Medici at San Lorenzo is completely covered in a colored marble facing using this demanding jig-sawn technique.

Techniques of wood marquetry were developed in Antwerp and other Flemish centers of luxury cabinet-making during the early 16th century. The craft was imported full-blown to France after the mid-seventeenth century, to create furniture of unprecedented luxury being made at the royal manufactory of the Gobelins, charged with providing furnishings to decorate Versailles and the other royal residences of Louis XIV. Early masters of French marquetry were the Fleming Pierre Golle and his son-in-law, André-Charles Boulle, who founded a dynasty of royal and Parisian cabinet-makers (ébénistes) and gave his name to a technique of marquetry employing shell and brass with pewter in arabesque or intricately foliate designs.

Our reference: 06005a

Object Classification

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