Picture This CXLIV

All right sleuths; let’s be having your opinions please.


As per usual, I may withhold some comments for a short period.


Jack Plane

About Jack Plane

Formerly from the UK, Jack is a retired antiques dealer and self-taught woodworker, now living in Australia.
This entry was posted in Antiques, Picture This and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Picture This CXLIV

  1. Matthew Pease says:

    At first glance a nice W&M or JVII (I’m in Scotland) oyster veneered chest on stand of a good colour. I’d guess walnut oysters – too big for laburnum. Then, why the asymmetrical top drawers and central leg which can offer no support through the single wide drawer? The decorated top with its downward sloping edge moulding and the drawer configuration of two over two or three I would normally associate with an ordinary chest, but then it isn’t tall and the top can still be seen, so maybe it’s right. If original, the veneer design on the side suggests the top never had more than two wide drawers, so it would have been very low on its own. The moulding between top and bottom parts is wide, but I like it.
    I’d want to look at the drawers and innards to pass judgement. It’s just possible that the original client had some particular objects to store that needed these peculiar dimensions and was happy to live with the broken-nose look, because otherwise it looks alright. It might have been assembled from odds and ends in 1920 and the joints carefully disguised, but on balance I think not: If a faker veneered the sides why didn’t he sort out the top drawers? One for close inspection.


  2. Guido Smoglian says:

    proportions not right,looks like 2 pieces put together,a former chest of drawers,maybe had one more large drawer, and the base from another piece ,either old or made up,for this piece .
    That is my best guess ,with this one image only.


  3. potomacker says:

    The elements are W&M, first quarter 18th century. The single image suggest that the problem is not in any details. Is this a marriage with the top to another base, There does seem to be an excess of molding to join the two sections together. The smaller upper section doesn’t align with its mass above the legs


  4. JoeM says:

    Very thin lower drawer blade on the base…center leg would pinch the opening…non-working/false lower drawer?
    Molding between base and top chest oddly large.
    Mixed use of veneer patterns. Oyster veneer in front with oval and chevron/center oval on sides. possibly a made up top section to house a set of old W+M drawers? same with base.
    The Oyster pattern is different between the top 4 drawer fronts and the lower drawer front in the base.
    Odd/different wear pattern on the spiral legs vs the ball feet…
    Color is nice but overall shape/design is too wide or squat.
    Resulting in a victorian era piece made from breakers/pieces of old chests.


  5. jamie says:

    This is the only site where I bookmark the page, because I’m interested in reading the comments!


  6. Joe M says:

    Th dealer marked it as hold…did you buy it Jack!😁


  7. Paul@bcfnc says:

    I have been pondering the strange alignment of the top two drawers . I couldn’t think of any reason someone would want them like that . Unless maybe a large Bible ? Otherwise, it’s quite desirable even with a later base . I could easily live with that


  8. Jack Plane says:

    Other than the legs, the chest, the stand’s carcase and the brasses all seem to be original and perfect.

    The legs of stands of this ilk (where the legs are simply tenoned into the stand’s corner blocks) endure a fragile existence. See the stand of the William III chest-on-stand I made , and a period example I restored some thirty-five years ago.



  9. Joe M says:

    wouldn’t the weight of the drawer over the middle leg stop the drawer from opening? there does not seem to be enough rigidity there.


    • Jack Plane says:

      The bottom rail on this stand is thin, admittedly, however, the weight of the drawer is born at its extremities, on the carcase-mounted guides. If the centre leg is the same height as the others and floor is level, there’s no reason it should interfere with the drawer.



  10. Robert Henderson says:

    Hello Jack,
    Regarding the two top drawers, could it be something to do with the actual amount of Olive Wood oysters which were available to the maker, at the time ? Each top drawer has four oysters. Each drawer stays in proportion to the size of the oysters used on it. Were each top drawer to be symmetrical, there would have to be split oysters.
    Best Regards,
    R Henderson


    • Jack Plane says:

      I think the cabinetmaker was very circumspect in choosing the oysters for the two dissimilar drawers. Had the two drawers been required to be of equal width, then the cabinetmaker would have matched the veneers.

      I don’t believe it’s a case of the tail wagging the dog.


      Liked by 1 person

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