Gainsborough's House, the museum and gallery at the birthplace of Thomas Gainsborough
Gainsborough's studio cabinet, c.1780
The cabinet has a marble slab under the lid on which to grind colours and a large drawer beneath to hold large sheets of paper. They are supported by two pedestals with four drawers each. The top right-hand drawer is divided into a grid, perhaps to store dry colours.
The cabinet was altered extensively during the nineteenth century. Originally there were swan-necked handles on all the drawers, which have been replaced by knobs; the front section of the lid probably lifted in a scissor shape from the front rail of the cabinet, but the two dowel holes on the front rail, beneath the lid, remain difficult to explain. The brass-threaded hole on the top may have supported a candlestick. The most radical change was the addition of five small cupboards with two drawers beneath, which were made to fit on the top. The changes to the cabinet are probably even more extensive than those described.