FSE Books

Monday, March 25, 2013

The Curved Curio Cabinet





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The Curved Curio Cabinet

The Ferd Sobol Editions presents a peek Behind the Workshop Door as we build The Curved Curio Cabinet

This latest edition was on Ferd’s workshop bench for well over a year.  When all of the edition’s many requirements were listed, the materials were tested and the needed jigs were itemized and built, -- then and only then, did the actual building of the new Curved Curio Cabinet begin.

A cylindrical cabinet with three shelves allows for in the round viewing of the contents placed inside. Shelf spacing was tested for the most attractive arrangement by the small holes seen in shadow in the drawing at the left. The stanchions into which the curved panels are placed are each decorated with petite vertical carved designs as seen in the assembly jig below.  The size of Ferd’s hands help in depicting the scale of this design and the Greek Key circular edging below.

To the left is a drawing made to size in order to finalize all scale and proportion issues before cutting the first piece of wood.  It shows a number of variations Ferd attempted with the shape and size of the finials, stretcher leg supports, and crowning finial coronet.  Beneath this drawing are his component piece measurements.  Nothing is left to chance, and he always measures twice and cuts once.

Below, Millie holds a magnifying glass to review the curvature of the curved design which wraps around the cylinder. Note that resting below the piece is the removable clear dome topped with its own finial, designed to allow the owner to remove it per their preference.

Seen below is a jig Ferd created to streamline the creation of the stretcher bars which support the graceful cabriole legs and are attached to a center finial.  Additional drawings determine the lovely serpentined curve of these legs and the delicate feet.

To the left we see much larger than life size the lovely legs of the cabinet in order to allow one to see the many
decorative elements adorning the piece.  They include the carved and hand curved Greek Key designs that encircle the cylinder, the delicate knee carvings and the amazing ormolu motif between each leg. Each ormolu was created separately as a flat piece and was then gently bent to the exact shape of the curve through a multiple series of shaping techniques. This lower ormolu is balanced with another matching set above the cabinet.

The legs themselves are each carved with classic cabriole shaping that Ferd finds so graceful and well scaled to this piece of furniture.  

The Curved Curio Cabinet culminates 30 years of artistic expression and embodies the relentless pursuit of  excellence that has always been a hallmark of The Ferd Sobol Editions.  It is a fitting miniature work of art to house other precious miniature works of art.  

If you think you may wish to add this piece to your own collection, please consider reserving yours at this time, 
as many have already been sold. Unfortunately in the past collectors have been sadly disappointed when a popular edition sells out rapidly.  If you wish you may use our friendly Layaway plan as many collectors do. Please email us for details and terms.

Left and below we see the creation of the upper and lower circular sections of the curio cage. Starting with a squared slab, a center hole has been drilled. Next the circular shaping and the convex and concave contouring was accomplished with the help from various tools including the lathe, Moto tools and jigs. Then the grooves to contain the clear panes and the decorative ormolu are added.  All is done with a tolerance range of about one hundreth of an inch.  This is needed to maintain the integrity of the clear curved panes as they curve encircling the shape of the cabinet.   Too tight or too loose a fit could introduce an unwanted distortion and disturb the clarity of contents.

In Victorian times rare specimens of orchids were kept behind glass controlling temperature and moisture, as curiosities to delight visitors. Most forms of socialization and entertainment were done in the home.  Parlors were filled with the best furnishings in the house to impress visitors, and show off one’s wide interests and hobbies.  This would be the perfect place for a most exclusive and well made piece of furniture like The Curved Curio Cabinet.  It is shown here with another popular previous edition The Hand Caned Chair.  A few of these chairs are still available at this time.

Many miniature collectors have requested such a display case with a smaller footprint to fit into almost any room. Some plan on filling theirs with glassware, while others are looking forward to placing their fine silver pieces within.  Still others have mentioned other various small collections needing a home, from tiny precious dolls to one patron indicating that she wanted to put hers into a vintage bakery room box and fill it with pasteries. Sounds quite yummy!  

What would you place in yours?  Whatever you may choose be assured that it will remain safe, secure and dust free behind the closed and latched door.  What a wonderful way to showcase your treasured collectibles.


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