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The Enchanted Castle
'Robber Baron' cabinet

'Robber Baron' cabinet

Studio Job

(Job Smeets, born Belgium, 1970; Nynke Tynagel, born Netherlands, 1977)
2006

Cast bronze, polished, patinated and gilded
Edition of 5, artist proof exhibited
Courtesy of a Private Collection, Prague

 

The Robber Barons were those ruthless 19th-century American industrialists who amassed - and spent - vast fortunes. The objects in this collection, decorated with imagery drawn from heavy industry and warfare, may appeal to the Robber Barons of today: power-hungry despots, oligarchs and bankers. The results are awe-inspiring and overwhelming, while the use of cast bronze evokes the gravitas and status of grand European sculpture and decorative arts.  
The large 'Robber Baron' cabinet is based on a cabinet by the Parisian cabinet-maker André-Charles Boulle (1642-1732), now in the Wallace Collection, there is a similar cabinet in the V&A (Museum no.1026-1882). Boulle lavishly decorated his furniture using gilt-bronze mounts and inlaid decoration of brass and tortoiseshell. This cabinet bears the cipher of Louis XIV and furniture like this helped to underline his power and status. 'Robber Baron' cabinet