Elizabeth I oak box

West Country, possibly Exeter

W 18.25" × H 10" × D 7.5"

Stock # marh0406


More information

Elizabeth I table box in the form of a miniature board chest. This unusual box was likely commissioned by a prosperous client as a novelty, not, as might be assumed, to serve as a piece of childrens furniture. Its form, proportions, and ornamental proportion replicate a sophisticated carved board chest on a remarkably diminutive scale. The case rests on integral feet with castellated cut-outs of the same pattern that appear on late sixteenth- and early seventeenth-century board chests. Motifs carved on the front and side boards (flowerhead rosettes framed by stapwork and stop-fluting) are executed with the same maturity as on full-scale objects, but on a more intricate scale. The box is assembled entirely of thin riven timber of a deep reddish color consistent with timber harvested from the iron-rich earth of mid-Devon. Deep red-brown surface with mature patination. Lid a nineteenth century replacement.