Display cabinet, 1822-25

Death Chamber of Archduke Carl


Thanks to a fortunate coincidence, the Albertina was recently in a position to acquire another piece from Archduke Charles’s original furnishings from a Viennese private collector.


Joseph Danhauser
Display cabinet, 1822-25

The item in question is a mahogany-veneered and gilt-bronze mounted display cabinet made by the Danhauser furniture factory around 1822 in the course of the palace’s refurbishment supervised by the architect Joseph Kornhäusel.

So far, this display cabinet, with its superb gilt-bronze applications, is the most spectacular and elaborate piece of furniture from the palace’s historical furnishings that has been reinstalled in its original location. A swift pencil sketch contained in the surviving bulk of Danhauser’s furniture designs identifies it as "Chiffonier model no. 12." The acquisition of this item constitutes another major step towards the meticulous and time-consuming recovery of one of the most splendid and exquisite Viennese palace interiors and has moreover secured a unique object of cultural value for Vienna.

Until 1919 - at a time when the palace was owned by Archduke Frederick - the display cabinet had been installed in the so-called "pièce de passage" or "passage room" on the piano nobile or first floor of the palace. In 1933, it was sold together with major parts of the palace’s furnishings at the Viennese auction house Kende. In the inventory of movables established in 1919 on the occasion of the last owner’s expropriation and the palace’s evacuation, the object was listed as item no. 124 in the cabinet section.