SALES ARCHIVE

AN HISTORICALLY IMPORTANT ENGLISH MEDIEVAL CLAMP FRONT BOARD AND STILE CHEST. CIRCA 1250.

WHEN DISCUSSING THIS PIECE OF 13TH CENTURY ENGLISH FURNITURE THE TERM ′RARE′ IS NOT IMPORTANT ENOUGH TO BE USED. TO ACTUALLY OWN A PEICE OF ENGLISH FURNITURE FROM THIS PERIOD IS BEYOND BELIEF. THIS CHEST COMES FROM A SMALL GROUP OF SIMILAR CHESTS WHICH RESIDE IN A HANDFUL OF CATHEDRALS AND CHURCHES IN THE SOUTH EAST OF ENGLAND AND ARE PROBABLY THE EARLIEST SURVIVING EXAMPLES OF ENGLISH MEDIEVAL FURNITURE IN EXISTENCE. ITS CONSTRUCTION CONSISTS OF FOUR WIDE STILES CARRIED DOWN TO THE FLOOR AS LEGS,THE FRONT TWO CARVED WITH AN ASCENDING SERIES OF DENTILS TO THE INNER STILES, IDENTICAL TO THE PETER GWYNN EXAMPLE, INTO WHICH LARGE BOARDS ARE TENONED AND PEGGED TO FORM THE BACK AND FRONT. THE SIDES ARE FIXED TO THE INNER FACES OF THE STILES BUT RECESSED TO ALLOW THE ENDS TO BE ′LATTICED′. IN THESE EARLY 13TH CENTURY EXAMPLES THE LID SWIVELLED ON A WOODEN PIN HINGE SET IN THE BACK STILES AND OUTSIDE THE END BOARDS AS THIS ONE HAS ITS ORIGINAL HINGES IN PLACE. THESE TYPE OF HINGES WERE ALWAYS COMPENSATED BT THREE OR FOUR IRON HINGES AS THIS ONE IS. THE IRON BINDINGS HAVE A SIMPLE CROSS HATCH DECORATION TO THE ENDS. THE LOCKING MECHANISM IS ALWAYS THE SAME, IT CONSISTS OF A LONG WOODEN LOCK WHICH RUNS THE LENGTH OF THE INSIDE OF THE CHEST HOUSING A LONG BOLT WHICH WHEN TURNING THE KEY LOCKS ALL THREE LOOPS ATTACHED TO THE UNDERSIDE OF THE LID. IT IS EXTREMELY UNUSUAL FOR ONE OF THESE CHESTS TO COME ONTO THE OPEN MARKET AND WE FEEL DEEPLY HONOURED AND PRIVILEGED TO BE THE CUSTODIANS OF THIS CHEST FOR HOWEVER LONG IT IS IN OUR POSSESION.
PROVENANCE- ST EBBES CHURCH, OXFORD.
LITERATURE- S.W WOLSEY AND R.W.P LUFF, FURNITURE IN ENGLAND, THE AGE OF THE JOINER. 1868 FIGS 6 AND 7.
THE PETER GWYNN COLLECTION, SOTHEBYS 27TH NOV 2001. David Sherlock, Suffolk Church Chests (2008), and The Age of Chivalry: Art in Plantagenet England, 1200-1400, an exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts, London, 6 November 1987-6 March 1988 (1987), cat. 103, pp. 233-234; Charles Tracy, English Medieval Furniture and Woodwork (1988), cat. 296, plate 102, pp. 172-174.LOT 1 , PG 12.
72" LONG X 21" HIGH X 19" DEEP.
STOCK NO 1097.

SOLD

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