English Medieval plank chest


W 33" × H 23" × D 20.5"

Stock # MARH0184


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Late medieval English plank chest of small proportions. Constructed of remarkably high-quality riven oak (timber that is split along the radial plane rather than sawn), secured with wooden pins. The sides terminate in shaped Gothic tracery composed of trefoil-headed lancets flanked by outward facing buttresses. Retains original lid, lock, lock-plate, hinges, and nearly full height. Exterior surface is a deeply patinated natural coloration that exhibits no signs of alteration aside from the long ago removal of a probably eighteenth-century coat of white paint. Interior coloration is untouched. Mitered moldings applied to perimeter of the top lost. Few examples of English case furniture of this early date survive. The remarkably intact structure of this chest, reflecting the original intention of its maker, establishes it as a significant document of late medieval English domestic life. Closely related tracery sides appear on The Fares Chest, a fifteenth-century boarded chest, also small proportions, in the collection of the Victoria & Albert Museum, illustrated as cat. 301 in English Medieval Furniture and Woodwork. A direct parallel for the chests shaped trefoils can be seen in the lancets applied to the facade of a late fifteenth-century board-and-stile chest from the collection of Peter Gwynn, lot 32, The Peter Gwynn Collection, Sothebys, 27 November, 2001 Another fifteenth-century plank chest of small proportions and pinned construction demonstrates the original appearance of the now missing mitered moldings applied to the lid, illustrated as fig. 164 in Mobel Europas , vol. 1.