The J. Paul Getty Museum


Object Details








Burgundy, France (Place Created)


1580; minor additions in late 1850s


Walnut, oak, paint, and iron; linen-and-silk lining

Object Number:



307.7 × 153.4 × 57.2 cm (121 1/8 × 60 3/8 × 22 1/2 in.)

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Object Description

The upper section of this imposing, two-tiered cabinet is enclosed by three doors. The middle door showcases a carved Apollo based on a print after Raphael. An elaborate, stylized display of human figures and masks, curling foliage and flowers, and scrollwork surrounds Apollo. The two outer doors, with arched panels, are inset with painted panels in yellow monochrome. The central door of the lower section also features a monochrome painting. Boldly carved griffins peek out from each end of the lower section. The very top of the cabinet originally included a painted panel depicting Saint Jerome.

J. Paul Getty acquired this cabinet in 1971. For many years, it was believed to be a counterfeit made in the 1800s. But recent scientific, visual, and archival analysis has established that the cabinet is an original piece of late Renaissance--also known as Mannerist--furniture made in 1580 in Burgundy, one of the great centers of French furniture production in the 1500s. The cabinet's maker has yet to be established, but it is possible that the most renowned Burgundian cabinetmaker of the period, Hugues Sambin, produced the piece. The cabinet may have been based on engravings by Sambin's contemporary, Jacques I Androuet du Cerceau, who was well known for his furniture designs. Even if neither artist contributed to this cabinet, their designs for similar cabinets and decoration almost certainly influenced the artist who did.

by 1596

Possibly Gauthiot d'Ancier (Besançon, France)

- 1850

Debruge-Dumenil (Paris, France) [sold, Hôtel des Ventes Mobilières, Paris, January 23 - March 12, 1850, tenth session - February 2, no. 1500, to Prince Soltykoff (1806 - 1859) Paris, France.]

1850 - 1861

Prince Pierre (Peter) Soltykoff, 1804 - 1889 (Paris, France) [sold, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, April 8, 1861, no. 275, to John Winston Spencer-Churchill 7th Duke of Marlborough (1822 - 1883).]

1861 - possibly mid -1880s

John Winston Spencer-Churchill, seventh duke of Marlborough, 1822 - 1883 (Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, Oxfordshire, England), sold to Baron Achille Seillière.

possibly mid-1880s - 1890

Baron Achille Seillière (Château de Mello, Oise, France) [sold, Galerie Georges Petit, Paris, May 9, 1890, no. 540.]

- 1916

Davis Brothers, American, 1856 - 1903 (London, England), sold to Duveen Brothers, Inc., June 14, 1916.
Source: Files regarding works of art: Cabinets, 1905-1951, Duveen Bros. Records, 960015, GRI, b. 229, f. 1; NY stock book, 1914-1915, b. 10; NY stock book, 1915-1916, b. 11; Dec. arts: Furniture: Cabinets, undated, Duveen Stock Docs., 2007.D.1, GRI, b. 493-495.

1916 - 1964

Duveen Brothers, Inc. (New York, New York), sold to the Norton Simon Foundation as part of the purchase of the remaining Duveen inventory, April 1964.
Source: NY Stock Books, 1914-1960, Duveen Bros. Records, 960015, GRI, b. 10-11, 16, 18, 19-33; NY stock book 1: Sub-division, 1918, b. 34; General stock: Subdivision, 1918-1919, b. 35; Stock book, May 31, 1925, b. 38; Stock ledger, ca. 1954-1964, b. 209.

1964 - 1971

The Norton Simon Foundation (Fullerton, California) [sold, Parke-Bernet Galleries, New York, May 7, 1971, lot 193 to J. Paul Getty for the J. Paul Getty Museum.], lent to the Norton Simon Museum, about 1965.

A Renaissance Cabinet Rediscovered (November 22, 2005 to August 5, 2007)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), November 22, 2005 to August 5, 2007

Du Sommerand, Edmond. Les arts au Moyen Age. Vol. 5. (Paris: 1846), pp. 203-04, fig. 19.

Hotel Drouot, Paris. Catalogue des objets d'art et de haute curiosités composant la célèbre collection du prince Soltykoff. 1861, lot 275.

Mannheim, C. Catalogue des objets d'art de haute curiosité et de riche ameublement provenant de l'importante collection de feu M. le Baron Achille Seillière (Paris: 1890), pp. 80-81, no. 540.

Dubon, D. "Hugues Sambin as an architect and designer of woodwork." M.A. thesis (Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, 1959).

Koeppe, Wolfram. "French Renaissance and Pseudo-Renaissance Furniture in American Collections." Studies in the Decorative Arts (spring 1994), pp. 48-66, fig. 7.

Erlande-Brandenburg, Alain, et al., Hugues Sambin : Un créateur au XVIe siècle, exh. cat. (Ecouen: 0Musee national de la Renaissance, 2001).

Pousset, D. "Etude dendrochronologique du cabinet bourgignon, 71.DA.89," unpublished report (Vesoul: Centre régional de restauration et de conservation des œuvres d'art de Franche-Comté, 2003).

Hinton, Jack, and Arlen Heginbothan. "Rediscovering a sixteenth-century Burgundian cabinet at the J. Paul Getty Museum." The Burlington Magazine 148, no. 1239 (2006), pp. 390-99, figs. 16, 22-28.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 7th ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2007), pp. 194-95, ill.

Campbell, Sara. Collector Without Walls: Norton Simon and His Hunt for the Best (New Haven and London: The Norton Simon Foundation in association with Yale University Press, 2010), pp. 111 and 461, cat. D227, ill.

Wolfgang Loescher, Der Kuntschrank aus dem Museum Faesch (Herausgeber: Baumann & Cie, Banquiers, 2012), p. 8, ill.

Campbell, Sara. Lock, Stock, & Barrel: Norton Simon & the House of Duveen (Pasadena: Norton Simon Museum, 2014), ill. p. 25, fig. 17; p.48, cat. D227.

Sara Campbell, Lock, Stock and Barrel: Norton Simon and the House of Duveen (Pasadena: The Norton Simon Museum 2014), p. 25, fig. 17.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 8th ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2015), p. 245, ill.