Schrank "Meyer zum Pfeil"
Schrank "Meyer zum Pfeil"

The Meyer zum Pfeil wardrobe

Basle, ca. 1700
Carcase: pine
veneer: walnut
height 256 cm, width 230 cm
Inv. 1937.20.

4134px x 4823px
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This magnificent wardrobe, along with other pieces of Baroque furniture, forms part of the Meyer zum Pfeil room, a room in the Historisches Museum dedicated to the memory of this prominent Basle family. The twin doored wardrobe is in general typical of southern and south western German furniture of its period, in which such spiral columns were fashionable. However, its three turned finials above the columns are unusual, and columns like these, which were carved by hand - unlike diagonally fluted examples, which were produced on a lathe - were a particularly frequent feature of cupboards and sideboards made in Basle between about 1664 and 1710. In this respect the joiner and 'ornemaniste' Johann Heinrich Keller (guild member 1657), who published a model book on columns and decoration in 1680, was particularly influential, not only in Basle but also further afield. Wardrobes like this with spiral columns, consoles in the shape of angels' heads and motifs of fruit on the cornice, yet otherwise restrained in the use of decoration, are therefore in Switzerland often called 'Basle' cupboards.

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