Picture This XCIV

Geo_III_cherry_&_laburnum_COD_c1770_01aA George III cherry chest of drawers, circa 1770. (Bonham’s)

Proportionally and stylistically, this chest of drawers could almost pass for a provincial English cherry chest – but for the unusual cornice-like top moulding with its central laburnum tablet (the base moulding and feet appear original, and with the drawers’ proportions, I am certain this chest was not formerly the top chest of a chest-on-chest or chest-on-stand). The cockbeading is also of laburnum.

The chest is also split mid-height, but curiously, there are no lifting handles.

I am unsure of what to make of this chest, though with the inclusion of laburnum, it could well be Scottish.

Jack Plane

About Jack Plane

Formerly from the UK, Jack is a retired antiques dealer and self-taught woodworker, now living in Australia.
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8 Responses to Picture This XCIV

  1. Joe M says:

    Do you have photos of the sides or back? What size is the chest? It does not appear to be so big or heavy that it could not be lifted or transported in one piece. Could someone have just sectioned it to eliminate a drawer?
    Why have a lock in the second from bottom drawer if you could just lift the top to gain access?
    Wonder how the two sections are secured? Pegs? Interior Hooks? or just it’s own weight.
    The chest certainly looks nice. Looking at it after awhile…. does have an “attitude” about it.


    • Jack Plane says:

      I don’t have any other images of the chest. It’s 41-1/2″ high, 42-1/2″ wide and 21-1/2″ deep – so quite large. I’m certain what you see is how it was made.

      The top section is most likely located by means of two loose tenons per side.



  2. mike hamilton says:

    I would have expected the “split” to occur more like campaign furniture rather than mid-drawer. Is this common?



  3. Tim Raleigh says:

    “laburnum tablet” Do you mean the wood is laburnum?


  4. Tom D. says:

    Scottish? So Laburnum Wood came to Dunsinane?

    (A bit of a stretch. Sorry.)


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