Concealed Drawer for a Globe Work Table (Globustisch)

c. 1810–15

The Cleveland Museum of Art

The Cleveland Museum of Art
Cleveland, United States

Work tables resembling globes were the usual form for a lady's sewing or writing table around 1800 in Austria. Combining moving parts, secret compartments, and highly finished decoration, these tables were also a way for the cabinetmaker to show off his skill. The tripod supports and temple-like architectural quality of both the exterior and interior decoration reflect the fashionable taste for neoclassical style, or Biedermeier as it was called in Austria, where Vienna was the center of such elaborate furniture production.

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  • Title: Concealed Drawer for a Globe Work Table (Globustisch)
  • Date Created: c. 1810–15
  • Physical Dimensions: Overall: 5.3 x 5.3 x 5.5 cm (2 1/16 x 2 1/16 x 2 3/16 in.)
  • Provenance: Hiedemann Fine Art, Richmond, VA, sold to Nancy F. and Joseph P. Keithley, Nancy F. and Joseph P. Keithley, Cleveland, OH, given to the Cleveland Museum of Art, The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH
  • Type: Furniture and woodwork
  • Rights: CC0
  • External Link: https://clevelandart.org/art/2020.199.i
  • Medium: Burl walnut veneer, mahogany, ebony, satinwood, gilt wood, painted wood
  • Fun Fact: The top half of the globe rotates upward to reveal hidden compartments for sewing tools, threads, and unfinished fabric pieces.
  • Department: Decorative Art and Design
  • Culture: Austria, Vienna, early 1800s
  • Credit Line: Nancy F. and Joseph P. Keithley Collection Gift
  • Collection: Decorative Arts
  • Accession Number: 2020.199.i

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