Daniel Pabst was trained in his native Germany as a cabinetmaker and earned a considerable reputation for beautifully carved furniture in the Renaissance Revival style after his arrival in Philadelphia in 1849. In the 1870s the style of his work changed dramatically, under the influence of English designers such as Bruce J. Talbert and Christopher Dresser, and Pabst began to make reform-minded Modern Gothic furniture such as this severely rectilinear cabinet. Instead of classically inspired bold carving, his new furniture incorporated a more abstracted, two-dimensional interpretation of nature, as seen in the expertly executed cameo carving of the floral roundel on the lower part of the cabinet.
Cabinet, walnut and burl ash. Overall rectangular form with canted front and side top edge. Immediately below is continuous burl ash frieze against a stippled darker ground with centered florette on front. Central door in three panels; below large square conventionalized floral design of burl ash cut back to reveal darker stippled ground; above pair of diamond-shape polychrome painted conventionalized floral panels in white, green, blue, red and black on gold ground beneath diagonal striated clear glass, with conventionalized half-florettes cut back to reveal darker stippled ground in each corner around glass insets. Below central door, narrow drawer with two carved octagonal pulls with florettes and carved conventionalized burl ash leaf frieze on drawer front. Projecting side stiles: large three-toed claw feet support turned columns with ebonized shafts and composite conventionalized capitals support squared members with deeply carved rosette and above vertical burl ash band of conventionalized leaves topped by a conventionalized tulip below frieze at top. Brass escutcheon keyhole. CONDITION - Very good original condition. Before purchase cleaned and lightly polished by Vilmos Gruenbuam, 1401, Brooklyn, New York.