Lot 26
  • 26

Isaac van Oosten

150,000 - 200,000 USD
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  • Isaac van Oosten
  • A late Renaissance Antwerp ebony veneered cabinet, circa 1645, with village landscapes and scenes from daily life
  • oil on panel


With Galerie de Jonckheere, Paris;
From whom purchased by the present collector. 


The following condition report has been provided by Simon Parkes of Simon Parkes Art Conservation, Inc. 502 East 74th St. New York, NY 212-734-3920, simonparkes@msn.com, an independent restorer who is not an employee of Sotheby's. The twelve paintings incorporated into the main body of this cabinet are in extremely good condition. With a couple of small exceptions, it does need not be restored. There are small well-applied retouches to the skies of each of these painted panels. In the large panel in the door on the left, there is a recent loss above the head of the shepherd in the lower left. In the small panel in the drawer second from the bottom on the right, there is a small crack in the lower left which is slightly unstable. In the painting under the top lid, there are restorations in the sky in and around the windmill in the center. There is an area of instability that needs to be addressed in the pond in the lower left. There are some small restorations here, as well as some in the sky and water on the right. The mechanics of this work are active and in good condition. Although restored, the remainder of the cabinet is in very good condition, like its painted inserts.
"This lot is offered for sale subject to Sotheby's Conditions of Business, which are available on request and printed in Sotheby's sale catalogues. The independent reports contained in this document are provided for prospective bidders' information only and without warranty by Sotheby's or the Seller."

Catalogue Note

This attractive and intricately decorated cabinet is an excellent example of the highly skilled furniture-making practice that flourished in seventeenth-century Antwerp. Cabinets such as these functioned as decorative objects which could simultaneously allow wealthy patrons to display various prized objects, as well as store any personal documents in one of the numerous drawers. As objects for display, they were constructed from a variety of woods for both functional and aesthetic purposes, with the most highly prized being ebony. Cabinet makers would often use ebony only sparingly, typically as a veneer given its rarity and expense, as is the case with the present example. 

Cabinet makers employed skilled painters to complete their creations with small pictures. As the popularity of these intricate objects grew, so too did their decoration and and the level of quality in the paintings. Often times, artists would execute compositions with recurrent themes. In this case, scenes from daily village life are illustrated, though in another cabinet of a similar construction, sold New York, Sotheby's, 26 January 2006, lot 122, all eleven panels were decorated with scenes from Ovid's Metamorphoses.