Research: Luce Center for American Art

Accession #86.81
Maker Kimbel and Cabus
MediumEbonized wood, gilt metal mounts
Dimensions42 1/2 x 17 1/2 x 17 1/2 in. (108.0 x 44.5 x 44.5 cm)
Marksno marks
Inscriptionsno inscriptiions
Signedno signature
Credit LineGift of the American Art Council
LocationAmerican Identities: Art Making / Centennial Era
DescriptionPedestal, ebonized wood with gilt metal mounts. Core of the object is a fluted columnar form with four brackets at the base; below which are four bracket feet. Along two sides of the column are scrolled brackets, which serve as the abstracted torso for an Egyptian figure. At the base of each scrolled bracket are two gilt metal feet with sandals; at the top is female bust with Egyptian headdress, gilt metal. Circular disc forms the top of the pedestal; shaped bracket apron above each head. Most surfaces of the pedestal are ornamented with incised gilt lines in stylized patterns including palmettes. Polished brass ornamental strips are applied around the base of the pedestal near the feet; around the neck of the column; around the edge of the top. Gilt metal rosettes appear at the interior of each whorl on the scrolled bracket and a gilt metal medallion of a Roman warrior appears at top of column between each Egyptian head mount. CONDITION: Normal wear to wood areas, especially at feet. One large bruise of edge of bracket beneath proper left breast of one mount. Gilt incised lines much worn in lower part of pedestal. One mount has stabilized fissure at proper left of neck and obvious repaired damaged on proper right. Metal mounts re-gilded by vendor.

Curatorial Remarks:

Kimbel & Cabus was on of the most important decorating and cabinetmaking firms in New York after the Civil War. This object represents an early design phase of the firm, historical revivalism, which shifted to a protomodern abstract aesthetic.

The pedestal in the neo-Grec style, which originated in France in the 1860s, reflects the ongoing appeal of Neoclassicism in its bronze Egyptian-inspired pharaonic mounts of carved volutes derived from Roman and Greek architecture.