South German or Tyrolean
Pine, walnut, ash, various fruitwoods, maple, ebony, partly stained (marquetry veneer); gilt bronze
25 1/2 x 36 3/4 x 15 1/8 in. (64.8 x 93.3 x 38.4 cm)
Gift of William H. Riggs, 1913 (25.135.112)
The facade of this portable collector's cabinet once could be closed by a fall front that provided a surface for writing or displaying the precious objects and collectibles formerly stored in the drawers and compartments. The marquetry is influenced by prints of Lorenz Stöer of Augsburg, especially his widely circulated pattern book and treatise Geometria et perspectiva, first published in 1567. The depiction of artificial ruins amid swampy landscapes served as a reminder of mortality and the eventually all-consuming power of nature.