Standing at two and a half metres tall, this cabinet-vitrine is a true masterpiece of craftsmanship. Blending Neo-Rococo detailing with a Japanese-inspired Vernis Martin panel, the piece blends the modern and the traditional in a surprising yet beautiful way.
The piece consists of a vitrine mounted on to a cabinet: the lower cabinet sits on four ormolu paw feet and consists of a central cupboard with a low shelf at each side. The central cupboard is decorated with a panel of Vernis Martin decoration, a type of imitation Japanese lacquer popular in Europe in the 18th and 19th Centuries. The panel shows a mythological scene, and sits above an ornate ormolu mount showing a vase, flowers, and foliage. The shelves at either side of the cupboard are mounted to the back with ormolu in the form of ribbons and cloth. Above the cupboard there are three sections with a diamond parquetry design bordered in ormolu. The central section opens as a drawer and is lockable via an ornate ormolu mounted keyhole.
The top section of the lower cabinet is curved in form and is surmounted by five shaped, ormolu mounted columns which support the upper vitrine. There are mirrored panels in between the three columns at the back.
Above, the vitrine can be opened by three glass-fronted doors, comprising one central door and two curved doors at either side, each of which are bordered in ormolu. The interiors contain three glass display shelves. The entire piece is surmounted by an arched, ormolu-mounted pediment.
The cabinet bears the inscription ‘F. Linke’, stamped onto the upper part of one of the legs.