A George I walnut bachelor’s chest with curious cushion arrangement incorporating a central loper and a drawer to either side, circa 1720. (Millington Adams)
The chest was offered by Cheshire dealers, Millington Adams and described thusly:
A fine and very rare George I walnut and feather banded bachelor chest with an unusual cushion waist. The top with a cross and feather banded top laid with veneers in a double book matched fashion. Opening the top reveals a very similar layout of cross and feather banded book matched veneers. Below a very unusual cushion section with central retractable support for the top and to each side a lockable cushion drawer. Below a pair of short, feather banded, oak lined drawers over two long graduated drawers fitted with brass plate handles and iron locks. The chest is supported on shaped walnut bracket feet.
This bachelor chest is of unusual form, with a cushion moulding underneath the top incorporating a pair of side drawers and a central support loper for the top. With this extra section, it still conforms in size to the classic proportions of bachelor chests from this period. Our thoughts are that this piece is made in the country or by a local cabinet maker to the specific instructions of his client, it is of wonderful quality and colour, utilising fine veneers throughout.
Provenance: Private collection UK.
Condition: Excellent. Minor restorations, waxing. Handles are later replacements. Feet and front drawer locks apparently original, the cushion drawer locks possibly replacements.
The chest sold last year for £29,900 ($62,526).
Actually, Millington Adams bought the chest in December 2014 from Dreweatts for £3000 ($6240) who described it thusly:
A George I walnut batchelors chest circa 1720 the feather and crossbanded folding top supported by a central loper with two small side drawers and two short and two long drawers on bracket feet 76cm high, 75cm wide, 31cm deep
Marks, scratches and abrasions consistent with age and use
Old chips and splits
Handles replaced, probably in 18th century
Evidence of worm to left side – refilled and repolished
Cracks to veneer to top and interior writing surface, signs of being relaid and repolished
Why did the rest of the trade put this ugly duckling in the too hard basket? I would have bid more than £3000 for the little gem.
Many will consider the final price unconscionable (I believe the chest attained its true value), but an antiques dealer’s life isn’t all beer and skittles.