An important, early-18th century, oak, pot-board dresser and rack standing on five, carved, cabriole legsSeptember 18, 2019 2:42 pm
The plate rack with a moulded cornice incorporating an added right, return, where no cornice was originally in place, and a re-applied left cornice return. The facia board with 13 hooks, 2 original and 11 replaced. The backboards comprising solid, timber planks. The sides straight. The upper open, plate shelf with a 28 spoon rack, above two open plate shelves all retaining plate strips, with two replaced. The four spice drawers with original brass handles and escutcheons. The base with a shaped apron faced with a cockbead moulding, and four drawers faced with cockbead mouldings. The drawers with original brass knobs and escutcheons, the second-to-the left with a replaced lock and key, and the others with internal, secreted, wooden peg locking mechanisms. Standing on five, slender cabriole legs, the knees finely carved with shell motifs. The potboard with a plate strip at the rear and a flat rim moulding, with repairs to the left return, standing on block feet with losses. Exceptional original colour and patina. Montgomeryshire, bordering first and second quarters of the 18th century (1720/1730). 60391137
Provenance : Made for, and acquired from Mathafarn House, Powys. This is the only, known, five, cabriole leg, provenanced, Welsh dresser.
Reference : The Welsh Dresser (Alun Davies, figure 33) for an example of a Montgomeryshire dresser with a similar, ogee-shaped apron. To be illustrated in Dr B. Cotton’s forthcoming book on 18th century, English, provincial furniture.
This exceptional dresser was made for Mathafarn House, where Henry VII was reputed to have stayed at the original house en-route to the Battle of Bosworth. It is a substantial residence that was re-constructed during the first quarter of the 18th century, and this piece was specifically made for the house. The dresser incorporates a cabriole leg, carved with a shell on the knee, which evolved and became highly fashionable during the first half of the 18th century. It is uncommon on Welsh furniture and only, known, to survive on dressers of a later, date ending in ball and claw feet. It is, however, recorded on a chest-on-stand from the Vale of Glamorgan. In conclusion, this is a rare feature to be incorporated within a Welsh, dresser, probably relating to the stature of Mathafarn House and the re-construction work that was concurrently taking place, and accounts for the importance of this piece.
This post was written by joecollinson