Such cypress or cedar chests, incised in bas relief and pyrographically engraved, have long been associated with Venice. The ‘cypress chests’ containing ‘arras, counterpoints, costely apparel, tents, and canopies, fine linen, Turkey cushions … pewter and brass, and all things that belong to house of house-keeping’ are mentioned in Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew. One such cypress chest, filled with bed-hangings, was listed in the 1626 Inventory of Cockesden (P. Thornton, ‘Two problems’, Furniture History, 1971, p. 68). A group of related chests, surviving in English churches, are discussed by Charles Tracy, Continental Church Furniture in England, Woodbridge, 2001, pp. 142-157.
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