The cabinet is a piece of furniture for storing and protecting precious items and collections. It arrived in France from Italy, Germany and Flanders during the Renaissance period. It is often mounted on a stand and usually comprises doors which open on a series of drawers. Its structure is architectural, often with columns, richly carved and/or decorated with mother-of-pearl and ivory. It was very fashionable in the 17th C under Louis XIV , less so in the 18th C, except for those in Chinese lacquer following the fashion for oriental items introduced by the India Company.
The cabinet has been replaced since the late 19th C by the lighter display cabinet, the Art Nouveau display cabinet or Art Deco glass cabinet still being very popular.