Cabinet, c. 1610-1615
Unknown (Italian, Florence - early 17th century)
wood veneered with ebony and palisander, hard stones (agate, jasper, marble, lapis lazuli, cornelian, chalcedony, quartz), ivory, and metal
60 x 98.5 x 41 cm
National Gallery of Canada (no. 28145)
This cabinet features panels of pietra dura, a technique involving the inlay of semi-precious stones, perfected in Florence for the Medicis. The natural colours range from the translucent white, blue, or green of agate and chalcedony, through jasper (opaque red, brown, green), lapis lazuli (blue), cornelian (red), to various shades of marble and quartz. Ivory and dark tropical wood of palisander and ebony are also used. Similar panels decorate the 18 drawers designed to hold precious coins, medals, or other small objects.