An exceptionally rare carved oak boarded chest, circa 1500.
Lot 421
An exceptionally rare carved oak boarded chest, circa 1500.
Sold for £18,750 (US$ 31,515) inc. premium
Auction Details
The Oak Sale Chester
15 Sep 2011 10:00 BST

Auction 18926
An exceptionally rare Henry VII carved oak boarded chest, circa 1500. An exceptionally rare Henry VII carved oak boarded chest, circa 1500. An exceptionally rare Henry VII carved oak boarded chest, circa 1500. An exceptionally rare Henry VII carved oak boarded chest, circa 1500. An exceptionally rare Henry VII carved oak boarded chest, circa 1500. An exceptionally rare Henry VII carved oak boarded chest, circa 1500. An exceptionally rare Henry VII carved oak boarded chest, circa 1500. An exceptionally rare oak boarded chest, circa 1500. An exceptionally rare oak boarded chest, circa 1500. An exceptionally rare oak boarded chest, circa 1500.
Lot Details
An exceptionally rare carved oak boarded chest, circa 1500.
The hinged lid with channel moulded edges, the front panel centred by a large Katherine Wheel squared with birds in flight over Tudor roses, a Pomegranate to the left and fletched arrows to the right, Gothic pointed arched tracery with leaf-and-bud fill to the ends, 172.5cm wide x 45.5cm deep x 76cm high, (67.5" wide x 17.5" deep x 29.5" high)

Footnotes

  • The carving found on this rare boarded chest is a fine example of the development, towards the end of the 15th century, from ecclesiastical inspired decoration to more secular work. Furthermore, it represents not only a change in symbolism, but in the execution of the carving. Cescinsky and Gribble Early English Furniture and Woodwork Vol. II. p. 21., contend that the secular Gothic of the later fifteenth century is nearly always cruder and flatter than the clerical; practically chip-carving, executed with sharp clean cuts with V-gouge or parting tool. The geometrical form of interlacing circular heads, which produces the pointed or lancet arch at the intersections, was a favourite detail, possibly because it was easily remembered and as easily executed. The authors illustrate three similar examples to this chest, figures 30, 31 and 32, all dated to the 15th century. They are, however, only comparable in decorative terms with the Gothic lancet found here. This chest has further decorative themes; all demonstrating the move away from religious symbolism; notably the Katherine Wheel, the pomegranate and the fletched arrow heads. Michael Dunn in The English Smile, p. 140, refers to this as Old Christian symbolism becoming new social impressionism by expressing contemporary meaning. He illustrates an oak chest, dated to 1530-40, with similar decorative motifs found here and makes several deductions as to what these motifs may refer. Referring to this lot as an example of readable furniture Royal connections could be surmised; the pomegranate was the emblem of Katherine of Aragon; Katherine is further named by the wheel; the feathered arrow heads may have reference to Prince Arthur, Henry VIII's brother, who died in 1502 and was betrothed to Queen Katherine; the roses offer a further reference to the Tudor dynasty.
    It has also been suggested that the carving on the left is that of a Medieval pottery jug; indicating a possible union between a potter and a fletcher.
Activities
Contacts
  1. David Houlston
    Specialist - Oak Furniture
    Bonhams
    Work
    Banbury Road
    Oxford, OX5 1JH
    United Kingdom
    Work 01865 853667
    FaxFax: +44 1865 372 722