This magnificent cabinet is made of oak and covered with panels of carved amber and ivory. Amber is fossilised tree resin formed millions of years ago and used since ancient times to make precious objects. The cabinet was made in about 1700 in the port city of Gdansk in Poland, which was then the centre of the trade in amber. Elaborate pieces like this would have been made for the courts of European princes.
The amber panels of the cabinet show off the skill of the maker and the natural beauty and colours of this material. The ivory panels are delicately carved with scenes on the theme of love. This suggests that the cabinet may have been a valuable gift associated with love or marriage.
This type of cabinet was kept in a room which was itself called a cabinet-a 'cabinet of curiosities'. This would have been full of natural and manmade wonders from all over the world. Such a room would have been a fitting place for the cabinet. This rare object also has a local connection. It was part of the art collection of the Blundell family of Ince Blundell Hall near Liverpool for over two hundred years.