Henry VIII oak cupboard


W 39" × H 54" × D 18.5"

Stock # MARH0223


More information

Henrican oak joined standing cupboard with plank sides. This relatively simple enclosed cupboard with two doors is an exceedingly rare example of the type of large-scale case furniture used in the homes of the English middling sort during the early sixteenth century. This cupboard bead-moulded framing members, plank sides with v-shape cutouts, adzed vertical backboards, and distinctive ironwork confirm its early date. Because of their inherent utility and complex and fragile structure, cupboards were subject to more damage and loss that any other late medieval furniture form. The few cupboards of this period which survive are mostly elaborate, high-status examples that were preserved because of their social importance and perfuse ornament. That this simple cupboard endured without sustaining much damage is remarkable. At some point during the eighteenth or early nineteenth centuries, the cupboard was reduced in width through the removal of the panels and framing members on the proper-left side of the doors. The muntins to which the hinges are affixed now abut the edges of the side boards, rather than receiving panels as they do on the other side of the doors. All of this, however, was done simply to prolong the usefulness of the cupboard, long before it was ever considered and antique. The surviving elements of the cupboard (approximately 80%) are remarkably well preserved. The original sides, doors, top, floorboard and mid-shelf, hinges, lockplate, and polls are intact. Rich, deep reddish-brown surface. * An early sixteenth-century standing enclosed cupboard with identical metalwork (hinges, lockplate, and pulls) sold as lot 53 in The Adler Collection, Sothebys, 24 February, 2005