A rare, late-17th century, walnut chest of drawers

September 18, 2019 2:36 pm Published by

The plank top faced with a moulding. The frieze fitted with four long, cushion-fronted drawers with deep mouldings. Replaced escutcheons, locks and handles. The drawers side-run and lined in oak. The bottom faced with a moulded edge. The sides panelled. Standing on replaced stile feet. Exceptional colour and patina. English, third quarter of the 17th century.

Width 93 cm., 3ft. 0.50 in. / Height 93 cm., 3ft., 0.50 in. / Depth 56 cm., 1ft., 10 in. 80801226
The cabinet maker has used unusually deep, angular, cushion-fronted drawers to display the grain, colour and patina of the walnut to maximum effect. The colour and patina have matured to an exceptional quality particularly around the drawer fronts where the colour varies in tone largely as a result of handling. The wear on the front of the top indicates that this piece has been much used which is consistent with the fact that the brasses have been replaced. The chest of drawers evolved from the chest in the mid-17th century as the prosperous classes required more convenient receptacles for clothing, which was made from thinner materials, and would have suffered severely from compression in a chest. During the 3rd quarter of the 17th century, as illustrated in this piece, the drawers became a uniform size, and bearers were fixed to the carcass, with the sides of the drawers grooved to receive them. This practice was continued until after the Restoration when runners were substituted.

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This post was written by joecollinson