Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Cabinet

Maker:
Cabinetry by the workshop of Melchior Baumgartner (German) (1621–1686)
Silversmith:
Jeremias Sibenbürger (ca. 1583–1659)
Maker:
Silver plaques possibly by a member of the Lencker family
Date:
ca. 1655–59, engraved decorations ca. 1825–50
Culture:
German, Augsburg
Medium:
Oak, pine, walnut, cedar, ebony, and rosewood; ivory veneer and silver veneer; silver; silver-gilt moldings; gilded yellow-metal mounts; the drawers lined with aquamarine-colored silk
Dimensions:
28 1/4 x 24 1/2 x 15 3/4 in. (71.8 x 62.2 x 40 cm)
Classification:
Woodwork-Furniture
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1903
Accession Number:
03.18
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 551
The outside of this cabinet was originally veneered with plain ivory (the engraved ornament is a later addition), which strongly contrasted with the dazzling display of silver and gilt-silver decoration in the interior. The three central plaques depict the Roman gods of agriculture (Ceres, at left), wine (Bacchus, at center), and love (Venus with Cupid, at right). They illustrate a maxim of the Roman dramatist Terence, Sine Cerere et Libero friget Venus (“Without food and wine, love would grow cold”), which appears in his comedy The Eunuch (161 B.C.). Furnished with multiple drawers and secret compartments for the storage of valuables, writing equipment, and toiletries, the cabinet also contains a removable dressing mirror and game board.
Marking: Stamped on silver base of left column of interior central tabernacle frame:
[1] pinecone (Augsburg town mark, 1655–60);
[2] interlaced I and S inside oval (mark of Jeremias Sibenbürger)
Henry G. Marquand , New York (until his death 1902; sale, American Art Association , January 23–31, 1903, no. 1347; sold to MMA)
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