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Lot n° 2


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CABINET AUX QUATRE ÉLÉMENTS Dresden, last third of the 17th century Based on engravings by FRANÇOIS CHAUVEAU (Paris, 1613-1676) SIMON THOMASSIN (Troyes, 1655 - Paris, 1733) ET CHARPENTIER Ebony on a fir frame; coral, horn, tortoiseshell, marine ivory, lacquer, mother-of-pearl, lardstone; brass, nielloed draw knobs Small restorations and missing parts H. 42 cm, W. 40 cm, D. 26 cm This precious cabinet in ebony, topped with a doucine lid, is decorated with four panels in relief, made of mother-of-pearl, horn, coral... Each panel represents an element - Fire, Water, Air, Earth - whose composition is freely inspired by engravings, in this case French. In the façade, the left door presents an Allegory of Water borrowed from an engraving by Charpentier (fig. 1). Amphitrite and Poseidon can be recognized in the middle of sails, fish and vase pouring water. On the right door, the bellows and the birds symbolize the Air. In the center is the Abduction of Orythia by Boreas engraved by François Chauveau (fig. 2). On the right side, a couple surrounded by fruits and wheat symbolize the Earth. Their outfit evokes those of Venus and Adonis in the engraving by Simon Thomassin (fig. 3). On the opposite side of the room, a forge scene represents Fire. The sumptuous decoration of this cabinet illustrates the technical virtuosity of the German craftsmen who have recreated colorful mythological allegories here, adjusting and reworking the precious materials. A carefully carved cameo enriches each of the paintings. All the drawers and interior compartments have kept their original polychrome Hungarian papers.

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