Elizabeth I oak chest

Circa 1560
England, probably West country

W 50.25" × H 24.5" × D 15"

Stock # Marh195


More information

ELizabeth I chest with plank sides, joined facade, and applied, mitered moldings. This chest is a rarified sixteenth-century example of a form that appears to have been quite common in the West Country during the seventeenth century a joined faced mated to plank sides and back, constructed with large rectangular pins, and standing upon side board extensions. Cusped-arch cutwork voids, recurved, spandrels, massive mitered-molding lozenges applied to the front panels, and the large lockplate with incurvate sides signify the mid-sixteenth-century date of this chest. Originally, a heavy moulding was applied around the perimeter of the lid another feature that substantiates the chests early date. Contemporaneous chests of closely related form and execution are well documented. Most of these are configured with linenfold panels, rather than the mitered lozenges present on this chest which reflect cutting-edge Mid-Tudor architectural ornament. The chest retains nearly full height, its first lockplate, lidded till, and an undisturbed surface consisting of a probably original thin coat of translucent orange-red stain. All applied, mitered are intact and appear never to have been removed; the cruciform scribe lines used to register the location of the molding on the panels remain visible. Lid flipped, applied molding to top lost, one spandrel and lock internals are period (probably seventeenth-century) replacements. *Despite the assertions of some, chests with plank sides and joined facades are not objects in transition from one form to another. They instead reflect English local particularity expressed through the work of joiners. Related sixteenth-century chest with plank sides and joined facades are illustrated as: · Chinnery, Oak Furniture, The British Tradition, p. 421, fig. 4:20; also sold lot 335, An Important Collection of Early Oak Furniture and Metalware Removed from the Manor House, Bramcote, Nottingham, Christies, 24 May, 2001 · Lot 300, The Clive Sherwood Collection, Sothebys, 22 May, 2002. · Lot 65, The Age of Oak and Walnut, Sothebys, 28 September, 2004