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Writing cabinet (stipo a bambocci)

Unknown16th – 17th Century

National Museum – Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania

National Museum – Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania
Vilnius, Lithuania

This item of furniture is one of the most interesting and impressive examples of Genoan (North Italy) masters' work featured in the exposition at the National Museum – Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania. In terms of its function and appearance, it is akin to a desk, however as a specific piece of furniture, the desk only emerged in the 18th century. Thus, the term writing cabinet is more suitable for this item of furniture from the late 16th–early 17th centuries.
The top part of the main body produced in walnut is richly and masterfully decorated with carved figures of angels, children and adults, most of them holding a stylised bunch of grapes, or an armorial cartouche or other figures. The top part of the writing desk has a door that opens downwards, forming the flat writing surface that rests on stylised centaur figures. Behind this door there is the wide range of secret drawers for letters, precious items and jewellery characteristic of writing desks. The decor also employs architectural motifs: pilasters, cornices and atlantes.
The lower part of the writing desk is more modest, yet is also decorated with figural compositions. A total of 81 (eighty-one) figures appear on the desk.

Details

  • Title: Writing cabinet (stipo a bambocci)
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: 16th – 17th Century
  • Location Created: Genoa, Italy
  • Physical Dimensions: 71,5 x 94,7 x 43 cm
  • Type: Furniture
  • Rights: National Museum – Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania
  • Medium: Walnut Wood

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