This cabinet, along with another in the Lehman Collection (1975.1.2017) have been installed into the wall of a gallery in the Robert Lehman Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in much the same way they appeared in the Lehman residence at 7 West Fifty-fourth Street in New York. They are key pieces, as they demonstrate that the collector prioritized the decoration of his house over any concern to preserve historical furniture. Both cabinets were altered to fit the spaces flanking the fireplace in the so-called “vaulted room.” No evidence has been found as to how 1975.1.2017 originally appeared; however, 1975.1.2018 was frequently published as an Umbrian credenza of about 1400 and was considerably famous in connoisseur circles. Therefore it is astonishing that this icon of early Italian woodwork was refashioned for the Lehman home. There are hardly any publications dating before the middle of the last century that do not illustrate this piece in its former state as an outstanding document of Italian Gothic furniture.(1)
Catalogue entry from: Wolfram Koeppe. The Robert Lehman Collection. Decorative Arts, Vol. XV. Wolfram Koeppe, et al. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art in association with Princeton University Press, 2012, pp. 216-17.
1. See, for example, Odom, William M. A History of Italian Furniture from the Fourteenth to the Early Nineteenth Centuries. 2 vols. Garden City, N.Y., 1918 – 19, vol. 1, pp. 39 – 40 and fig. 23; Hunter, George Leland. Italian Furniture and Interiors. 2 vols. 2nd ed. New York, 1920, vol. 2, pl. 179. See also Ferrazza, Roberta. Palazzo Davanzati e le collezioni di Elia Volpi. Florence, 1994, ill. no. 193.
[Elia Volpi, Palazzo Davanzati, Florence]; Volpi sale, American Art Association, New York, 21-23 November 1916, lot 425, ill.; [F. Kleinberger Galleries, New York]. Acquired by Philip Lehman through Kleinberger Galleries in July 1920.