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The Angiolo Barbetti Exhibition Cabinet

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The Angiolo Barbetti Exhibition Cabinet

- Item No.

Angiolo Barbetti was the leading figure in 19th-century Italian cabinetmaking

Key Features

  • This astonishing Renaissance Revival wardrobe is attributed to Italian cabinetmaker Angiolo Barbetti
  • Rich carving, grand size, and lavish form distinguish this Indian walnut masterpiece
  • Barbetti created a similar cabinet for the 1851 London Exhibition, which is housed at the V&A museum
  • Barbetti frequently showcased at the Great Exhibitions, earning him the patronage of nobility

Item Details

  • Width:
    65 1/2 Inches
  • Height:
    103 1/2 Inches
  • Depth:
    34 1/4 Inches
  • Period:
    European 19th Century
  • Origin:
Majestic carving envelopes this amazing and monumental Italian cabinet crafted by the famed Angiolo Barbetti of Florence. A leading figure in Italian woodworking during the 19th century, furnishings by Barbetti are truly precious finds. A cabinet of such mammoth proportions asthis is rarely seen on the market. Superiorly hand-carved of fine Indian walnut and standing at nearly nine-feet high, this cabinet is set apart by its rare and ingenious double-door design. When the doors fold open, the grand canopy top appears suspended effortlessly thanks to iron supports that are ingeniously disguised beneath the beautifully carved woodwork. Though seemingly simple in concept, to achieve this feat required the knowledge and skill of a master cabinetmaker. The wardrobe's magnificent proportions, innovative design and lavish carving are classic elements associated only with the most exceptional Renaissance Revival creations.

Considering its innovative design, this important cabinet was almost certainly exhibited in the 1851 Great Exhibition in London, where Barbetti was awarded a medal for a suite of carved walnut furniture. Following the exhibition, a very similar cabinet from this suite was purchased by Queen Victoria and is now in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum.

The son of a renowned woodcarver, Angiolo Barbetti was born in Siena in 1805, and was trained as a sculptor and inlayer. In 1842, the artisan settled in Florence where he opened his own workshop, garnering great attention and demand for his masterpieces through venues such as London's Great Exhibitions of 1851 and 1862, the Paris Exhibition of 1861 and the Vienna Exhibition of 1873. His showings earned him the patronage of Russia's Prince Demidoff, who commissioned Barbetti to custom-craft many furnishings for his Villa San Donato in Florence.

Circa 1840

65 1/2" wide x 35 3/8" deep x 112 1/4" high128" wide with doors open

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Price: $298,500
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