A DUTCH-COLONIAL JAPANESE CHESTNUT CABINET CHEST WITH BRASS MOUNTS
Last quarter 17th century
Two doors, behind which a set of drawers, with elaborate brass mounts and two handles.
H. 65 x W. 81.5 x 50 cm
Earlier in the 17th century, this type of cabinet was made in carved ebony, but in the second half of the century, carved ebony went out of fashion and lacquered, or plain wooden cabinets came into vogue. The shape of the mounts agrees with the ones on Japanese export lacquer cabinets. The doors open to reveal eleven drawers, two with locks; the same arrangement as in Japanese lacquered cabinets. Because of all these drawers, the function possibly was a collector’s cabinet. Similar cabinets are in the collections of the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag and Museum Het Princessehof in Leeuwarden. There these table cabinets are catalogued as being from Batavia. However, the wood of the present one does not exist in the tropics but is an indigenous wood in Japan.