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Preliminary design for a cabinet, June 1771, executed with alterations (1)

Elizabeth, Duchess of Manchester (1730-1832) owned a collection of eleven Florentine pietra dura landscape panels by Baccio Cappelli, datable to 1709. In order to display these panels in her bedchamber the Duchess commissioned Adam to design a cabinet on which they could be mounted. The executed cabinet is to a slightly different design to Adam volume 17/218, without the arcaded lower register, with less ornamental motifs, and without the frieze dividing the top most panels into an attic register. It was constructed in mahogany and oak, with satinwood and rosewood marquetry, in 1771-76, by the cabinetmakers William Ince (d.1804) and John Mayhew (1736-1811), and with ormolu mounts by Matthew Boulton (1728-1809). Despite its appearance, the cabinet does not contain drawers, but rather has large doors on either side. It appears that it was intended as a means of displaying the pietra dura panels rather than as a cabinet for storage. In 1949 the Kimbolton cabinet was sold by the 10th Duke of Manchester and is now in the possession of the V&A Museum.

According to Harris this cabinet, with its pietra dura panels, is comparable to the executed design for the chimneypiece in the Chinese room at Kenwood, with its inlaid painted Chinoiserie tiles (SM Adam volume 23/243), c1773.
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