Writing Cabinet Scrittoio Escritoire Desk Walnut Italy Florence Renaissance



An exceptionally rare, late-Renaissance, Florentine, walnut, writing cabinet, scrittoio, escritoire or desk in two parts

This striking, writing cabinet has a classical form, ornament and understated grandeur which translate into a statement piece for the period or contemporary interior. The cabinet maker has used large sections of walnut with beautiful figuring that forms part of the ornamentation and aesthetic. It is a practical size, not too big, and usable size with lots of storage space in both the cabinet and cupboard elements. It is characteristic of pieces that were made for Florentine Palazzo's during the late-Renaissance exhibiting regional characteristics and very few pieces survive from this period. It has a lustrous and rich color and patina.

The writing cabinet with a deep cornice above a frieze incorporating a finely figured piece of walnut. The fall front below with a single moulded panel in the manner of a Renaissance frame displaying a large, central section of beautifully, figured walnut. The original brass escutcheon retains traces of original gilding, the original lock behind operating with a period iron key, most likely original. Flanked by a pair of Ionic columns with fluted pilasters each ornamented with a swag of flowers and opening on the original ring hinges to reveal four drawers with moulded panels, retaining their original brass drop handles. The fall opening to reveal a fitted interior of 16 pigeon holes/open shelves arranged around a central cupboard which is opened with a leather handle on ring hinges. The inside fall functions as a writing table with crossbanding around a large central section of beautifully, figured walnut.

The cupboard section fitted with two doors with moulded panels incorporating beautifully, figured sections of walnut. Retaining original, brass, sculptural, cherub mask handles and brass escutcheon retaining traces of original gilding. Original iron key and lock behind and opening on the original ring hinges to reveal a fitted shelf. Flanked by a pair of finely carved panels with flower head, cabochon, fishtail flower head and scroll ornamentation characteristic of the region. The base with deep, crisply carved gadrooning characteristic of the region. Standing on front paw feet and shaped back legs. The sides are paneled incorporating, beautifully grained sections of walnut. The back original. Both parts bearing the remains of labels from Barker & Co. Ltd Depositary, Cromwelll Crescent, Balfour, 1460. Measures: Length 115cm wide, depth 45cm, height 198cm

Related to: Cabinet furniture with similar carved decoration attributed to Florence illustrated in : Italian Furniture of the 15th & 16th centuries (Pedrini) with figures 331, 333, 334 16th century, credenza in Palazzo Vecchio, Firenze,

Bears the same paw feet as those on a late-Renaissance Italian walnut writing cabinet in the MET Museum, New York, No 30.79.

Shipping P.O.A. Subject to quotation and will be charged separately.
All prices exclude custom clearance fees which, where appropriate, will be charged directly to the client by your receiving courier, importer or government.
Height 198 cm / 78 "
Width 115 cm / 45 "
Depth 45 cm / 17 "

17th Century


circa 1600





Collectors / Designers



Renaissance (Of the period)




GOOD. Wear consistent with age and use.