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Triangular corner cupboard
Cypress wood and deal
Museum number: X69
Unknown maker. This unusual corner cupboard is a made-up piece, part Italian, seventeenth century, and part English, early nineteenth century. Cyprus wood and deal, with a modillion cornice; the door flanked by fluted ebonised pilasters and incorporating three pokerwork panels and sections of decorative borders; the upper panel depicts a haloed and bearded saint on the left, holding a pair of dividers; centre right is a ship and lower right a figure (holding a skull) with a grotesque bird-like head surrounded by rays, reminiscent of the devils depicted in paintings of the Temptation of St. Anthony or, perhaps, of someone wearing a Venetian carnival mask; in the background is an Italian townscape and the panel is inscribed at the top IVLIVS GXP and AGNOLAI; the centre panel depicts a cavalier in a domestic interior, viewed through an elaborate Corinthian arch within decorative borders; the lower panel is a mythological scene, perhaps the abduction of Persephone by Hades (the male figure may be holding a sheaf of corn, often a symbol of Persephone), with elaborate structures, perhaps triumphal arches or temples, to left and right; in front of the building to the right a naked female figure holds a flaming torch. The borders surrounding the three central panels include a row of kneeling cherubs framed by classical arches across the top, flanked by small square corner panels showing domed buildings; a row of running deer below the cherubs; up the sides are borders with scroll and flower motifs; the deal carcase is crude, with planked sides; the cupboard is fitted internally with three rough deal shelves.
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