Skip to main content

Castle Howard Cabinet: M.12 & A-2016

An image of Cabinet on stand

Photograph copyright © The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge.

Terms of use

These images are provided for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons License (BY-NC-ND). To license a high resolution version, please contact our image library who will discuss fees, terms and waivers.

Download this image

Creative commons explained - what it means, how you can use our's and other people's content.

Colours in this image

Alternative views

Object information

Titles

Castle Howard Cabinet

Maker(s)

Unknown (Maker)
Possibly Tatham, Charles Heathcote (Designer)

Description

Rosewood cabinet, mounted with pietre dure, and inlaid with ebony. On a Regency mahogany and parcel-gilt stand. One of a pair.
The cabinet is of 'architectural' form. The upper part has pediments and drawers, and has a central cupboard which encloses a fitted interior with an arcaded alcove. The pediments are surmounted by classical figures and putti, who stand flanked by female figures, with summer and autumn attributes. The cabinet is inset with panels of lapis lazuuli, agate, quartz, and various Roman marbles. The pilasters are formed of four gilt bronze standing figures, with gilt bronze capitals with rams heads, on plinths supported by four gilt bronze crowned eagles.
The stand is on lion paw feet, and has a moulded top and gadrooned edge above a central frieze, with Greek key decoration, above two parcel gilt caryatid supports with floral drop swags. On the back panel is a central plaque, with a female mask, centrered by gilt wood sun rays.

Notes

History note: Possibly commissioned by a member of the D’Este family, Dukes of Modena and Ferrara (based upon icongraphy of the crowned eagles). Almost certainly acquired by Henry, 4th Earl of Carlisle (1698-1758) and his son Charles, Viscount Morpeth (1719-41) on their grand tour to Italy in 1738-9; then by descent to Frederick, 5th earl of Carlisle (who probably added the regency stands); then by descent at Castle Howard until sold, Sotheby’s, London, 8 July 2015, lot 22.

Legal notes

Purchased with contributions from The National Heritage Memorial Fund, The Art Fund (with a contribution from the Wolfson Foundation), The Pilgrim Trust, The Right Reverend and Mrs Peter Walker Legacy, The Marlay Group, Molly Lowell and David Borthwick, The Society of Dilettanti Charitable Trust, The John Armitage Charitable Trust, Mr Giles Ellwood and Mr Philippe Sacerdot, and The Drawing Matter Trust.

Measurements and weight

Depth: 43.5 cm
Height: 222 cm
Width: 92 cm

Relative size of this object

92 cm2.2 m43.5 cm What does this represent?

Relative size of this object is displayed using code inspired by Good Form and Spectacle's work on the British Museum's Waddeson Bequest website and their dimension drawer. They chose a tennis ball to represent a universally sized object, from which you could envisage the size of an object.

Place(s) associated

  • Rome ⪼ Italy

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bought (2016-07-11) by Sotheby's

Dating

Early 17th Century
Early 19th Century
Circa 1625 CE - 1800 CE

Note

Cabinets such as these were sought-after souvenirs of the Grand Tour, a cultural and educational visit around European countries undertaken by wealthy British travellers in the 18th century. These grand examples were acquired in Rome in 1739 by Henry, 4th Earl of Carlisle (1698–1758) and his son, Charles, Viscount Morpeth (1719–1741). They were installed at Castle Howard, North Yorkshire, where they remained until 2015.

The stands combine female supporters called caryatids, Apollo mask and sunburst motifs, and friezes of the Greek key pattern. They reflect the taste popularized by the influential early 18th-century designer William Kent and are probably ‘the carved gilt frames’ that were commissioned for the cabinets when they first arrived at Castle Howard.

These cabinets (this is a pair with M.13 & A-2016) were made in Rome in the mid-1620s, Previously thought to have been made for a member of the Borghese family, it is now thought much more likely that these cabinets were made for a member of the D’Este family, Dukes of Modena and Ferrara. The crowned eagles which can be seen supporting the bases come from the family’s coat of arms. Made by a variety of highly-skilled craftsmen, the form of the cabinets is after that of contemporary Roman church architecture. Panels of valuable hardstones, including blue lapis lazuli are set into the ebony frame, a technique known as pietre dure. The structure is further embellished with gilt-bronze statuettes and mounts.

School or Style

Baroque

People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Inlay composed of quartz lapis lazuli agate Veneer composed of ebony Stand composed of mahogany Carcase composed of rosewood Figures composed of gold bronze Mounts composed of gold bronze Decoration composed of gold Figures And Mounts Panels

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: M.12 & A-2016
Primary reference Number: 209513
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Tuesday 8 November 2016 Updated: Tuesday 12 January 2021 Last processed: Thursday 8 April 2021

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Applied Arts

Citation for print

This record can be cited in the Harvard Bibliographic style using the text below:

The Fitzwilliam Museum (2022) "Castle Howard Cabinet" Web page available at: https://data.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/id/object/209513 Accessed: 2022-05-29 08:41:11

Citation for Wikipedia

To cite this record on Wikipedia you can use this code snippet:

{{cite web|url=https://data.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/id/object/209513 |title=Castle Howard Cabinet |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2022-05-29 08:41:11|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

Bootstrap HTML code for reuse

To use this as a simple code embed, copy this string:

                <div class="text-center my-3">
                    <figure class="figure">
                        <img src="https://data.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/imagestore/aa/aa36/M_12_20_26_20A_2106_1_201608_mfj22_dc2.jpg"
                        alt="Castle Howard Cabinet"
                        class="img-fluid" />
                        <figcaption class="figure-caption text-info">Castle Howard Cabinet</figcaption>
                    </figure>
                </div>
            

Please enter your name as you would like to be addressed
Please enter your email address
The object accession number - this is prefilled
Please enter your query with as much detail as possible

More objects and works of art you might like

Castle Howard Cabinet

Accession Number: M.13 & A-2016

Cabinet

Accession Number: M.6-1957

Suggested products from Curating Cambridge

You might be interested in this...

Sign up for updates

Updates about future exhibitions and displays, family activities, virtual events & news. You'll be the first to know...