Just for a bit of fun this time; before I offer my assessment of this oak and yew chest-on-stand, would anyone else care to interpret the images and propose a date?
Fig. 1. Oak and yew chest-on-stand. (Tooveys)
Fig. 2. (Tooveys)
Fig. 2. (Tooveys)
Fig. 3. (Tooveys)
Fig. 4. (Tooveys)
Fig. 5. (Tooveys)
Update, November 5th.
The tell tale damage on the back right stile and bottom rail (fig. 5) was caused by rats sharpening their teeth on the hard oak arrises. This could only have occurred with said components close to the floor where rats habitually run along the perimeters of walls. This chest did not originate on a stand. I believe the chest began life circa 1670-80 as a fairly standard joined, four-drawer oak chest (fig. 6).
Fig.6. Charles II oak chest, circa 1670. (Bonham’s)
Traditionally, valuable cutlery and silver flatware was kept either in decorative boxes on the sideboard, in the dining room, or in the butler’s pantry, under lock and key. However, during the first half of the twentieth-century, canteens in the guise of antique furniture were all the rage, especially when they matched the contemporary Chuckabethan revival furniture (fig. 7).
Fig. 7. Mappin & Webb oak Chuckabethan canteen, circa 1915-20. (China Rose Antiques)
The dealer or restorer who perpetrated this abomination utilised a (likely poor and decrepit) Charles II oak four-drawer chest. I imagine the mouldings were popped off and the pegs (the sole means of joining the carcase together) were either drifted or drilled out, reducing the carcase to a pile of parts. The bottoms of the four stiles were shortened and new mortises chopped out to house the bottom rails, thereby reducing the chest to a three-drawer chest.
The valuable (likely one-piece) wainscot side panels would have been saved for a future project and were replaced with a number of narrow second-hand quartersawn oak boards (note the black stains from contact with iron nails or hooks etc.).
The plain boarded top would have been planed flat and then veneered with yew. The carcase would then have been reassembled with new pegs and the top and bottom mouldings nailed back on.
The applied mouldings (or what remained of them) on the drawer fronts would have been cleared off and the drawer fronts veneered in yew and then crossbanded.
On the rare occasions one comes across a Charles II chest with integral stand, the chest’s stiles also form the legs of the stand (fig 8).
Fig. 8. Charles II oak chest with integral stand, circa 1660 (later handles). (Bonham’s)
The attachment point of our chest to its alien stand can be clearly seen at the bottom of the back left stile, level with the bottom edge of the bottom rail (fig. 5).
Legs and stretchers turned with ball-and-reel, ball-and-ring or egg-and-reel decoration were fashionable on chairs, chests, settees and tables during the late seventeenth-century (fig. 9), but given the dimensions of the chest and the height of the legs, the ball-and-ring-turned stand undoubtedly began life as the undercarriage of a dilapidated late seventeenth-century oak settee.
Fig. 9. Charles II oak close stool with ball-and-reel stretchers, circa 1680. (Bonham’s)
We know the settee was dilapidated, because it had lost its turned feet as can be witnessed by the wear and wet-mop bleaching to the legs’ square blocks on which they must have stood for some decades (fig. 1). The legs presumably regained their turned feet during the conversion process.
Lastly, one or more drawers were fitted with partitions and lined with baize to accommodate cutlery and flatware.
Thanks to all the sleuths who joined in and offered opinions; it was most enjoyable.