Two Nonsuch inlaid desk boxes

16th century

W 10 3/4" × H 9 3/4" × D 9"

Stock # Marh2698


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Two Nonsuch inlaid oak desk boxes of small size.Both boxes with sloping lids with applied mouldings, both inlaid the front and sides with chequer and dot and oval inlay work, with both back panels fully inlaid with buildings with traces of green staining. Both interiors with a lidded til, and drawers with the original tin metal strap hinges. The inlay to these boxes is of a type more often seen decorating larger boxes or chests. Now thought to have been produced in Southwark, London by German craftsmen. They are known as "Nonsuch" chests because the inlaid work often includes fantastic turreted buildings with which Henry VII's palace at Nonsuch, now demolished, has become associated. These boxes are rare, to have two boxes, which most certainly have been made in the same workshop and made by the same hand are hard to come by.

Provenance: Paul Fitzsimmons private collection