These elegant ebonised wood cabinets feature beautiful central ‘pietra dura’ panels. Italian for ‘hard stone’, pietra dura panels are composed of a variety of gemstones and marbles, which have been carefully selected, cut and fitted together. This technique is known in Italian as ‘commesso’. The stones used for this technique often include agate, quartz, chalcedony, porphyry, jasper and lapis lazuli. These cabinets are further decorated by fine gilt bronze (ormolu) mounts.
The cabinets feature rectangular bodies, topped by friezes, which are decorated with central rectangular ‘pietra dura’ panels, within gilt bronze frames. These depict garden birds perched on cherry trees. The friezes are mounted with foliate gilt bronze motifs and mouldings. Oval shaped ‘pietra dura’ panels of birds and butterflies decorate the fronts of the cabinets. These are set within foliate gilt bronze frames, with ribbon bows above and crossed oak branches below. The cabinet bodies are further ornamented by gilt bronze foliate borders, rosettes, trails of husks, and trophy motifs. Gilt bronze half-length sculptures of women carrying fruit baskets on their heads are mounted onto the front top corners of the cabinet bodies. The sides of the cabinets are similarly decorated, with the addition of central gilt bronze female masks. The cabinets stand on rectangular bases, with shaped fronts and sides. These bases are edged with gilt bronze egg-and-dart mouldings and mounted on their fronts with scrolling gilt bronze foliage.