This remarkable cabinet is constructed in the form of a miniature Palladian house, complete with a pedimented temple frontispiece and stylobate.

The strongly architectural character suggests the hand of an architect rather than a furniture maker. Leaded brass reliefs representing Orpheus singing to the beasts are inset into the facade; the central arched relief has Orpheus singing to his lyre I surrounded by animals, and the flanking reliefs show the rest of his audience: a bear, a leaping hound, a boar, a horse, a goat and a barking dog. The plaques are the work of the Italian sculptor Francesco Fanelli who came to England around 1631 and by 1640 was calling himself 'Sculptor to the King of Great Britain'.


I.V. Askew.

Back to top