Ulrich Baumgartner (1580-1652), attributed
Augsburg, c. 1650
Table stand: 17th century
Ebony (Diospyros ebenum), partly inlaid, engraved, and partly heightened with white, African Blackwood (Grenadine/Grenadil) (Dalbergia melanoxylon), ivory, inlaid and engraved, gilded bronze
Height 188 cm, width 106 cm, depth 54 cm
The present cabinet distinguishes itself through its architectural form: two pilasters frame the central compartment and a round arch with a bouquet is depicted on its door. It appears as if the pilasters carry the beams with the volutes, over which a bevelled roof rises with a lantern and bronze balustrade. Four drawers are stacked upon one another on both sides of the middle section. Both sides are also covered with a bevelled roof and a balustrade. All drawer fronts, doors, and architectural elements are elaborately decorated with ivory intarsia, on which in part figural and ornamental motifs are engraved as well as in part enriched with heightened white ebony inlays. Slender bouquets, fragile tendrils and fantastical beings reflect the virtuosity of the engraver. The same motifs, with slight variations, are found on other magnificent furniture pieces that are also attributed to the workshop of Ulrich Baumgartner. Interesting is the lantern on this particular cabinet, on which a king or emperor is shown as well as two cavaliers on either side of him who announce his arrival with their trumpets. Similar representations of rulers can be found on the game board that is kept in the Museum for Arts and Crafts in Hamburg and in Baumgartner’s workshop in Augsburg, which is inlaid with ebony and embellished with engraved ivory intarsia.