Dutch cupboard at MFA


A few weeks ago, Maureen & I were at the MFA to see the Durer prints; and while wandering afterwards, saw this cupboard on loan…today when I delivered my cupboard, I took some time to shoot some photos. (no tripod, no lights; so less-than-ideal; but the cupboard makes up for it…)

I forget what date they gave it, but I figure early 17th century about nails it. The carving of course is out of this world; but the joinery is quite nice too, and the moldings are many, and crisp…the whole thing is made of the best-quality oak you’d want. Accented here & there with ebony it seems. It’s about 7 feet tall. Thus it won’t fit in my house, really.

The patterns and handling of this piece are reminiscent of the best work done in Exeter, Devon about the same time.  That work is seen in a church in Totnes, Devon today…also similar work appears in the Bromley-by-Bow room at the V&A. I have examples of both of those on the blog… I think this Netherlandish stuff is the source for those English works.

So here are a bunch of photos. I have little to add to the pictures. click them to enlarge. A little grainy, but worth it. I hope to see it in detail some day.

side freize


carving, "strapwork" under cornice


carving under cornice again


Figures, upper case, proper left


figures, upper case, proper right


And here’s Abraham & Isaac out on highway 61:

abraham & isaac


And just in case the Rembrandts and other Dutch master paintings aren’t enough in this room, from the same collection is a great draw table, also oak & ebony. If you are not familiar with these tables, the bottom layers of this top “draw” out each end, and what is now the top section drops down between them to give you a table top twice as long as it is now…they can be pretty big. You don’t want to move them much. See the iron bolts to dis-assemble the frame.

draw table


draw table detail

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