The Witcombe Cabinet, English, japanned and silvered wood, about 1697

Key information

Museum number

2006.4

Object

The Witcombe Cabinet, English, japanned and silvered wood, about 1697

Gallery label

The Witcombe Cabinet
English
Japanned and silvered wood, about 1697

The cabinet is in remarkable condition and is unusual in retaining its original silvered stand and cresting (above). Imported Chinese and Japanese porcelain would have been displayed on the brackets on the cresting. Lacquer cabinets were a great status symbol in the late seventeenth century. The secret of genuine Japanese lacquer was unknown but English craftsmen imitated it using varnish and shellac, known as japanning. A fine imported Japanese lacquer cabinet would cost up to £50, an English japanned cabinet sold for less than half that amount.

2006.4
Accepted by HM Government in Lieu of Inheritance Tax and allocated to the Holburne Museum, 2005

On display?

Yes
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