Attributed to Herter Brothers (German, active New York, 1864–1906)
Made in New York, New York, United States
Maple, with painted and gilded surface, bevelled glass, silk velvet, brass
64 1/2 x 71 x 14 1/2 in. (163.8 x 180.3 x 36.8 cm)
Purchase, Robert L. and Ann R. Fromer Gift and Margot Johnson, Inc. Gift, in honor of the 75th anniversary of The American Wing, 1999
Not on view
This drawing-room cabinet exemplifies the ivory and gold palette Herter Brothers favored in drawing rooms designed for their wealthy clients, such as Oliver Ames, industrialist and governor of Massachusetts, for whom this piece was made. Typical of Herter Brothers, this cabinet suggests a sophisticated amalgam of sources. It employs decorative elements derived from eighteenth-century Neoclassicism, such as the reeded columns, dentil moldings, and carved swags, while also referencing the contemporary arts of Japan in its asymmetrical side shelves and in the gold-flecked surface inspired by lacquerware.
Inscription: [in pencil on rear]: Oliver Ames / Boston
Oliver Ames (1831-1895; Governor of Massachusetts 1886-1889), ca. 1883-1895; to his estate until 1917; to his son, Oakes Ames (1874-1950), 1917-ca.1926; to the National Casket Company, ca. 1926-1970s (?); To Gordon & Gordon Adjustment Company; to Emerson College (?) Sold by Beacon Hill Auctioneers and Appraisers, Boston, 24 February 1996; to Margot Johnson, Inc.1996 to present.