Bonham’s The Oak Interior sale in New Bond Street, London on the 28th of September 2016 has a number of interesting items including lot 200, a dated walnut chest of drawers (fig. 1) carrying an estimate of £7,000 – £10,000 ($12,000 – $18,000).
There are two women named Esther Bugby, or Bugbee, recorded in Essex in the mid-18th century. The first, Esther Broadjent, née Thonniton, married a John Bugbee of Malden, Essex in 1764, so cannot be the Esther whose name was recorded on this chest in 1751. A more likely candidate for its owner was the Esther Rust who married another John Bugby in Great Waltham, Essex in 1736. The year 1751 would have marked the 15th year of their marriage.
It’s rare dated furniture like this that affirm the period styles and construction methods so crucial in dating other furniture.