17th century
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General Description

During the Renaissance, many-drawered small chests and cabinets were popular storage places for personal objects, curiosities, and valuables.

This two-door cabinet is fitted with seven drawers inlaid with human, bird, vine, and leaf designs of mother-of-pearl and ivory shaded with inked engravings. These designs were probably copied from late 16th-century engravings. The cruciform quartering on top of the cabinet and on the door panels, and the female saint holding a cross remind today's viewer that the 17th century was an age not only of rich interior decoration, but of intense religious devotion as well. The three initials on its top probably stand for the first and last names of a man and his wife and suggest that this cabinet may have been a wedding present.

Adapted from

Dallas Museum of Art,The Wendy and Emery Reves Collection (Dallas, Texas: Dallas Museum of Art, 1985), 165.