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Mathieu Van Beveren (1630-1690)

Cabinet James II circa 1650 - 1690

Ebony, tortoiseshell, ivory, silver, silk velvet | 197.0 x 98.7 x 50.5 cm (whole object) | RCIN 21633

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A tall, narrow, red tortoiseshell and ebony cabinet mounted on a square inlay top, with two front panels concealing an architectural stage-set interior on a red velvet background, consisting of a domed chamber with columns to the sides, richly decorated with ivory carvings and figures depicting James II crowned, seated on his throne with an elaborate canopy above, flanked by two allegorical figures representing Wisdom and Strength holding aloft a cushion with a crown on top, with an allegory of Peace presenting a laurel to their left, surrounded by putti holding garlands and shields, the whole surmounted by an ivory figure of St George and the dragon at the top and with three silver figures of lions at the base. The cabinet stands on four legs joined by turned stretchers, the back legs turned, the front legs each embellished with a carved ivory scroll mount terminating in claw-on-ball feet resting on square blocks, all legs raised on bun feet.

The illustration of the cabinet in Plate 19 of G J Richardson's Studies from old mansions published in 1842 reveals that some of the decoration has been lost, in particular two trumpets from the hands of two putti, a sceptre held by another putti, and an Orb from the cushion held by Wisdom and Strength is also missing.

The lance held by the figure of St George is not an original but a later replacement.