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English James I Joined Elm Four Panel Guillouche Carved Coffer c.1610

English James I Joined Elm Four Panel Guillouche Carved Coffer c.1610

English James I Joined Elm Four Panel Guillouche Carved Coffer c.1610

SHORT DESCRIPTION
A very large joined elm four-panel carved coffer retaining all the original and substantial timbers.
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DIMENSIONS
Height is 29 inches, depth is 21 inches and width is 56 inches. For metric please multiply by 2.5.
DATED
c.1610
PRICE
£1,280

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Item Name English James I Joined Elm Four Panel Guillouche Carved Coffer c.1610
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FULL DESCRIPTION
A very large joined elm four-panel carved coffer retaining all the original and substantial timbers. The top a single wide elm board, thickly cut with a gnarled and pitted surface and fabulous patina and with original split pin iron hinges. The bottom board a single plank of elm.

The back with four hand tooled elm panels and original pegs throughout. Traces of the original paint to the sides (almost all early oak furniture was originally brightly decorated and painted).

The front panels boldly and skillfully carved with running guillouche centred with pinwheels to the top rail, stiles and muntins. Herb/candle box to the interior.

A slight loss of height to the back legs from years of standing on damp floors - entirely usual and the coffer does not noticeably lean back. Some old drip marks to the left side panel, some evidence of old worm but this is treated and long since dead - a sparse smattering of holes.

Lid rises smoothly and closes properly with a slight and naturally formed upward tilt to front edge as shown in our photos. Hasp lost but lock and iron hook are original.

When this coffer was made it would have been a very expensive and high status piece of furniture. Joined and pegged oak coffers were originally called "chests" (they pre-dated chests of drawers but performed much the same function). This chest is particularly impressive and it is rare to find a coffer of this age made entirely in elm. The carving is lovely quality - bold and confident.

Such a chest would have been intended for display in the grandest room of the house and, unlike boarded coffers made by less skilled carpenters, joined coffers such as this were made by highly skilled craftsmen and are as individual as the maker.

Very untouched condition, solid and structurally sound, with the fabulous colour that aged elm develops, the lid to the candle box with thumbnail detail borders.