antique carved cabinet (pic)

dashiellJanuary 20, 2012

Does anyone have any info on carved cabinet depicted below? My mother always referred to it as "the Danish chest". The carved panels seem to depict an historical event. Any info as to origin, age, history, etc. would be appreciated.

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Nice! Scenes from the Sagas? Wagner?

    Bookmark   January 21, 2012 at 6:55PM
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Thank you for your reply. You have me researching the Norse Sagas and it is so interesting! I am adding more pics to hopefully help identify this piece.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2012 at 3:38PM
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Fori is not pleased

I dunno, but the artist behind that did a wonderful job. You don't usually see such good perspective in woodwork, but that guy picked his vanishing point and used it!

The folks here ( not me-heh!) will be able to help on age if you take photos of the guts of the piece. Show the hardware, insides, hinges, joints, etc.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2012 at 7:29PM
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Thank you, fori, for your comments and suggestion. I will take more pics! And yes, the carving is wonderful, and the four main panels move in their placement - perhaps to allow for expansion?

    Bookmark   January 24, 2012 at 7:44AM
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The panels move because they were inserted into "rabbets" (grooves) in the door frames, not nailed or glued into place. It allows them to expand and contract instead of splitting.

I'm going to say it's 1880-1915 for the following reasons:

The way the door frames are routed around the panels, with the rounding crossing over the joint, shows up almost entirely in furniture of that era (I think they were all using the same routing machine). It gives a nice organic curve to what would otherwise be a straight edge.

The deeply scooped grooves and simple carved stars are a very common decorative detail for that design school.

Viking themes were extremely popular with the Scandinavian A&C artists. It may be scenes from one of the Icelandic sagas, although the only one I remember with a horse ends up with the horse dead, not used to flee.

The carved woman has a very non-Scandinavian appearance. Her skirt is almost Egyptian in the way it folds. These multi-cultural influences are common in that era. They sucked in all kinds of influences.

And here's your probably style identification: Skonvirke style. (the o should be the slashed o, but my browser won't do it)

The "Skonvirke style" was named after Skonvirke a Danish magazine and is now used also as a term for a special Danish style, a mixture of Jugendstil (German), Art Nouveau (French), Arts and Crafts (English) on one side and Nordic national romanticism on the other. The style flourished in the same period as the national romanticism, ie. ca. 1895 - 1915.

Does your family have Danish connections - either by family or travel and business?

    Bookmark   January 25, 2012 at 5:48PM
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Lazygardens, thank you for your information!

I did a limited internet search but did not find info re furniture of this period. What resources do you recommend so I can further my knowledge?

Also, no, we do not have Danish connections. My mother bought pieces she found "interesting" from various sources. For instance, I found in her basement, a Richard Schultz petal table!

Thank you again for replying.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2012 at 11:51AM
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I have no clue. I could only find one website in English and looked up the rest using Google translation.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2012 at 7:30PM
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The Skonvirke style is the Danish equivalent of Art Nouveau, but it seems it's only applied to decorative stuff like jewelry or small collectables. I have never heard the term applied to furniture or rugs or house design as we would use the term Art Nouveau.

I don't believe it's Danish...German maybe? American? Canadian?....but it's plainly oak and There is no history that I can find about the Danes using oak as a furniture wood.

It's an interesting piece for sure...I think it's telling a story about knighthood and a hero being recognized and riding off to battle on his horse.
It appears beautifully made but before I hazard a guess as to era, I would like to see some construction the back, the door locks, the inside etc.
I am thinking those rear legs were added?

    Bookmark   January 26, 2012 at 7:50PM
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Thank you for your comments, Lindac. It appears inside the cabinet that shelves and drawers were added, but I never thought of looking at the legs! I will try to get pictures this weekend.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2012 at 8:37PM
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I have a cabinet is supposedly Danish that is golden oak. I was told it was consigned to the store I bought it from by a family that originally brought the piece from Denmark when they immigrated. I'm sure it's not as old as the OP's, and it's not as interesting, but it is oak!

This is a cool cabinet.

Karin L

    Bookmark   January 28, 2012 at 12:30PM
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Yes, the Scandinavian countries used oak. It was one of their basic resources in the wooden ship days. Their export stuff is mostly birch and beech because of style, not lack of oak.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2012 at 2:44PM
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Danish oak antiques are well recognised and rather plentiful. Old Danish furniture styles and German styles overlap, since the countries border each other, and some Danish antiques even have German hardware. The plain rear legs differing from the fancier front legs is also not uncommon in old as well as new furniture, since they're not readily visible. Those are caryatid pilasters, spot on for the timeframe Lazygardens mentions, and has very confused influences as was common in that era.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2012 at 1:15AM
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Thank you for all your replies. I am including more pics an case they can bring about more info. Thanks again. More pics:

    Bookmark   February 1, 2012 at 11:39AM
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