Robb Design Portfolio: Golden Glow

  • This cabinet, which stands 16.5 inches tall and was built in 1724, is covered with more than 100 pieces of amber. Laue places the cabinet’s value at about $1 million.
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Europeans of the 16th and 17th centuries prized amber as much for its oddity as for its beauty: Although it was found on the shores of the Baltic Sea, which remains the world’s main source of the semiprecious material, it would catch fire if flames were applied to it. “Things that came out of the water did not normally burn,” says Georg Laue, owner of theKunstkammer Georg Laue gallery (+49.89.27.81.85.55, www.kunstkammer.com) in Munich, Germany. Kunstkammer objects are curiosities that, during the Renaissance, collectors displayed in small, elaborate cabinets. These cabinets often housed items sculpted from amber, a substance that we now know to be fossilized tree sap, and some of the furnishings themselves were veneered with the material.

 

 

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