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Ask anything

  • Margarida Pedro Serra asked

    the white matewrial is ivory or whalebone?

  • Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen answered

    Hi Margarida,

    The white details of this ebony cabinet from 17th century were made with ivory and mother-of-pearl.


  • asked

    Where is the whalebone?

  • Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen answered

    Thanks for your question. The 24 drawers inside the cabinet are decorated with a delicate pattern executed in whale-bone - which was readily available as a result of the flourishing whaling industry at the time. Herman Doomer himself, devised the process of pressing the material into a metal mold and colouring it. In 1641 he applied for a patent for this method. Best, Rianne


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More information

This ebony veneered cabinet inlaid with ivory and mother-of-pearl can be seen as a forerunner to the museum. Collectors would have kept curiosities in it such as rare shells and stones. The tulip motif was a symbol of wealth in Holland in the seventeenth century as tulip bulbs fetched enormous sums of money.

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Collection book

Collection book Order


Title Tulipcabinet
Material and technique Cedarwood, ebony, ivory, mother-of-pearl, quicksilver
Object type
Collector's cabinet > Cabinet > Cupboard > Furniture > Living > Utensil
Location This object is in storage
Dimensions Width 132 cm
Height 183 cm
Depth 52 cm
Artists Furniture maker: Herman Doomer
Accession number Div. M 17 a-d (KN&V)
Credits Acquired with the collection of D.G. Van Beuningen, 1958
Department Applied Arts & Design
Acquisition date 1958
Creation date in circa 1635-1650
Collector Collector / D.G. van Beuningen
External exhibitions Boijmans bij de Buren - REMIX ROTTERDAM, Boijmans X Wereldmuseum (2020)
Flowers Forever. Flowers in Art and Culture (2023)
Geographical origin The Netherlands > Western Europe > Europe

All about the artist

Herman Doomer

Anrath circa 1595 - Amsterdam 1650

Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen owns two cabinets by Herman Doomer. Originally from Germany, Doomer started working as a cabinetmaker in Amsterdam in 1613. He was...

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