It is our pleasure to offer for sale an extraordinary 18th century North Italian or South German, walnut, Baroque Tabernacle Secretary. The upper section features a center cabinet with a scenic Intarsia inlaid door flanked on each side with locking drawers. The drawers are paneled in the Pietra Dura and Pietra Paesina technique with Dendritic Limestone tablets. The interior of the cabinet contains two drawers and is lined with French Toile wallpaper.
The lower case contains two candle slides over a hinged slant front writing surface inset with felt. The interior of the desk is fitted with drawers and slides, which when open reveal a hidden compartment. The desk sits over a bureau that contains two levels of half drawers and two full length drawers. The secretary is inlaid with exotic woods, and each drawer and cabinet has a locking escutcheon.
Dendrite Limestone (sometimes called picture stone or painted stone) is an amazing original work of art by mother nature. The patterns occur naturally due to the presence of iron and manganese oxide Dendrites which create branch-like formations crystallizing within limestone or marble. Mined since the Middle Ages, it was considered rare in the 18th and 19th centuries and was used on only the highest quality furniture.
The secretary is in very good condition with some signs of age such as roughness to some of the inlaid scene on the cabinet door and minor age wear to the surfaces. There are some age cracks present to the tablets that are both natural (the process of Pietra Dura) and also due to age. The locks still work and there is one particular key for each section of the piece. The base has replaced bun feet.
Size: 72-1/2" Height, 40" Width, 22" Depth.