I have a cabinet with rounded features and inlaid designs (see below). What woodworking style is this, and where and when did this style originate? Any suggestions about the date and provenance would be greatly appreciated.

image of cabinet with rounded features and inlaid design

  • Beautiful piece! This is an interesting question, but it is not in scope for the Woodworking StackExchange site. For more information on what kinds of questions we do and don't answer, see the Help Center. Commented Jun 6, 2016 at 17:01
  • Sadly, there isn't an Antiques.SE. Maybe there should be...
    – FreeMan
    Commented Jun 6, 2016 at 19:26
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    I do not see how this is off topic. He is asking about its stype and origin, not the type of wood.
    – Ashlar
    Commented Jun 6, 2016 at 20:09
  • 1
    Welcome to the site! Unfortunately, this question as it is presently worded does not work well with the SE format, and it will probably be very difficult to provide an accurate answer without a lot of bidirectional discussion and a lot more pictures, at the very least. Please feel free to repost in chat, or if you are just interested in the style of woodworking used in this piece, that would be more tractable. More in the meta discussion: meta.woodworking.stackexchange.com/questions/333/…
    – rob
    Commented Jun 7, 2016 at 1:30
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    The rewording to be about the style rather than the piece helps a lot, since the piece could be a reproduction or independent development of that style. Alas, I don't have an answer.
    – keshlam
    Commented Jun 10, 2016 at 22:22

1 Answer 1


I hesitate to put this as an Answer because I'm not sure of the details but it ran too long for a Comment.

Without a real furniture expert (and it appears we don't currently have one among the members of this SE) I don't think you'll get a definitive origin for this piece. But it looks European or done by a craftsman working in the tradition of the country they came from in Europe.

My gut says it's maybe northern Italian or from the Tyrol perhaps, but it may turn out to be Swiss or from NE France.

In appearance it's quite old but that can often be intentionally faked of course, sometimes just for style reasons (reproductions), but more nefariously something can be deliberately made in an old style and 'aged' so that it appears to be antique (a practice that goes back centuries).

As well as that storage conditions can accelerate the appearance of age, for example storing in the dark can yellow old varnishes significantly (they recover somewhat when placed in a sunny spot for a few hours), and being in a room with smokers for a decade or two can greatly darken a piece.

I don't know that there's a name for the style except to say that it's "curvilinear", so it might be described as "a bow-topped curvilinear cabinet with marquetry door featuring a woodcutter".

For dating, I'd hazard a guess of the second half of the 19th century, but bear the previous comments about faux age in mind. I should add that the brightness of the escutcheon and the hinges bothers me, and makes me think this might be a lot younger than first appearances, although they could quite easily be later replacements.

  • Woodcutter, hmmm. I couldn't quite tell from these pics.
    – keshlam
    Commented Jun 11, 2016 at 15:42

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