Dressing cabinet

DATE:
c. 1660
MATERIAL AND TECHNIQUE:
Paper, silk, wood, and glass
CLASSIFICATION:
Furnishings
DIMENSIONS:
Overall: 11 7/8 x 10 7/8 x 7 15/16 in. (30.16 x 27.62 x 20.16 cm)
DEPARTMENT:
Decorative Arts and Design
LOCATION:
Not On View
CREDIT LINE:
Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mrs. Addison L. Gardner, Jr. in memory of Richard W. and Anna L. Sears and of Mr. and Mrs. Alfred L. Bromberg in memory of Mr. and Mrs. I. G. Bromberg by exchange
ACCESSION NUMBER:
1992.12

General Description

This dressing casket is a rare surviving example of a form of fancy work popular during the second quarter of the 17th century. Randall Holme in his Academy of Armory (1688) included amongst the “Other Works performed by School Mistresses and their Scholars both paper work and Gum Work, [which] is by Gumming several colours of sleeven silk together, which being dry they cut into shapes of Leaves and Flowers, and so tie them up upon Wyers.” Flat gummed silk and paper work seems to have pre-dated the three-dimensional flower work and the rolled paper work of the late 17th and early 18th centuries. This particular example belongs to a well-documented group of caskets all decorated by young girls; however, this casket is unique in that it is entirely decorated in cut work without any needlework at all. Furthermore, this casket is extremely unusual because of its early date. The figures on the piece are dressed in the style popular from 1645 to 1655. Even if the girl who decorated this chest used old prints for inspiration, the casket could not stylistically date later than the 1660s.