The European Decorative Arts Company's collection of Objets d'Art comprises of fine items that represent a variety of ideas, materials, and techniques in the applied arts from the 17th century through the 19th century, including examples of Russian Imperial porcelain, Trapani coral, Limoges enamel, and micromosaics, and works by Froment Meurice and Jacob Petit.


For the reasons of craftsmanship, rarity, quality and authorship, these are considered Objets d'Art (objects of art), items of luxury that are meant to provide nothing more than a feast for the eyes of their possessor.


In-person viewing of our extensive collection can be arranged at our by-appointment-only showrooms.


For any questions regarding our offerings, please contact us at:

P. 516-621-1771

C. 516-643-1538


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Tortoiseshell Jewelry Cabinet Circa 1860-80

Date: Circa 1860-80
Materials/Techniques:    Tortoiseshell, Silver and enamel mounts, semi-precious stones
Dimensions: h 10.5 "
w 8.25 "
d 6.25 "

Inventory #: 22
27 x 21 x 16cm


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This fine small cabinet is veneered with tortoiseshell and profusely decorated throughout with silver and enamel mounts. The two central doors open to reveal six small drawers, further fitted with enamelled mounts, above a single larger drawer. It is clearly inspired by examples from the 16th and 17th century shatzkammer" collector's cabinets made in Augsburg and Antwerp, particularly the work of Mathias Walbaum, which were often veneered in ebony and similarly applied with openwork silver mounts. The original function of such cabinets was to allow its owner to lock away and secure valuables, such as jewelry and natural material "curiosities", but the precious materials with which the cabinets themselves were made rapidly became the main focus of an interior or showcase.

The pierced c-scroll mounts, some centered by white-enamelled figures, others by lion's faces, are fashioned in a manner that also recalls renaissance jewellery designs for pendants and brooches. The taste for objects in this earlier style was propagated by many of the leading jewelers and silversmiths during the last third of the 19th century. Craftsman such as Lucien Falize (1839-97), Alfred André (1839-1919), and Rhienhold Vasters (1815-90), all of whom were well acquainted with designs of the early masters and frequently used them as a starting point in the creation of their own objects, if not actually making exact replicas that often were used by unscrupulous dealers to deceive gullible collectors desirous of a princely look - then and in the 20th century. The attribution here to a Viennese silversmith, who may have been Ratzersdorfer (for a biography see cat. no. 15), Hermann Böhm or Rudolf Linke, is based on the form of the cabinet and secondary wood used in its construction, which are identical to others that are known which are either struck with Vienna hallmarks or are mounted with the typical Viennese enamel plaques.