A four-door oak cupboard with geometrically divided fields on the panelled doors consisting of oak and ebony. At the front, the cupboard stands upon blackened wooden ball feet. The cupboard is visually divided into two sections, separated at the sides by figurative pilasters with sculpted decorations that run from bottom to top. The wide doors in the upper section are separated by ornaments in the shape of lion’s heads and stylised acanthus leaves with lion’s feet at the bottom. Above, in the convex ebony cornice overhanging the entire width of the cupboard, the three pilasters are surmounted by decorative cherub’s heads.
The upper and lower sections are separated by a transverse element bearing a pattern of arches. The pilasters alongside the large doors are decorated with seated Hermatlant figures, below which are stylistic motifs. The lower edge of the cupboard features a protruding plinth. The cupboard’s sides feature a slightly more sober rendition of the partially ebony-veneered panel fields.
Zeeland cupboards as a type deviate strongly from other Dutch pieces of furniture. They are relatively low and often decorated with tropical hardwood and intarsia. Various wooden interiors and furnishings featuring the cornices, intarsia and other details so typical of cupboards from Zeeland survive to this day, several of which are in the Rijksmuseum collection. One example is a part of the wooden interior and furnishings of a dwelling in Brouwershaven, Zeeland, dating from the seventeenth century and comprising a beddenkoets (an item of sleeping furniture) and a door. These items and the present Zeeland cupboard feature a recurring element specific to Zeeland carvings from this period: the figures atop the pilasters. These so-called Hermatlants take the form of bearded men and women, of whom only the bared upper body is shown. They bear ionic capitals upon their heads, and have one arm hidden behind their back, using the other to hold up their robe.
Chateau de Sancerre collection
Loek van Aalst en Annigje Hofstede, Noords Nederlandse meubelen van renaissance tot vroege barok 1550-1670, 2011, p. 162
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