A fine Elizabeth I oak, fruitwood and marquetry court cupboard upper section Anglo-German, 1580-90
Lot 8
A fine Elizabeth I oak, fruitwood and marquetry court cupboard upper section Anglo-German, 1580-90
Sold for £3,500 (US$ 5,437) inc. premium

Lot Details
A fine Elizabeth I oak, fruitwood and marquetry court cupboard upper section Anglo-German, 1580-90 A fine Elizabeth I oak, fruitwood and marquetry court cupboard upper section Anglo-German, 1580-90 A fine Elizabeth I oak, fruitwood and marquetry court cupboard upper section Anglo-German, 1580-90 A fine Elizabeth I oak, fruitwood and marquetry court cupboard upper section Anglo-German, 1580-90 A fine Elizabeth I oak, fruitwood and marquetry court cupboard upper section Anglo-German, 1580-90 A fine Elizabeth I oak, fruitwood and marquetry court cupboard upper section Anglo-German, 1580-90 A fine Elizabeth I oak, fruitwood and marquetry court cupboard upper section Anglo-German, 1580-90 A 16th century and later oak, fruitwood and marquetry court cupboard Anglo-German 1580-90 A 16th century and later oak, fruitwood and marquetry court cupboard Anglo-German 1580-90 A 16th century and later oak, fruitwood and marquetry court cupboard Anglo-German 1580-90
A fine Elizabeth I oak, fruitwood and marquetry court cupboard upper section
Anglo-German, 1580-90
Having a dentil-moulded cornice, the front frieze inlaid with meandering flora, pears and acorns, the sides with contre-partie arabesque-strapwork, raised on tapering square-section end-columns with Ionic capitals, each with three-sides of contra arabesque inlay, enclosing a pair of Nonsuch-inlaid cupboard doors centred by a flower-filled vase-inlaid panel, the uprights with further floral inlay, the lower-section, of later date, probably circa 1900, with a pair of panelled cupboard doors, 122cm wide x 59.5cm deep x 157.5cm high, (48" wide x 23" deep x 62" high)

Footnotes

  • The type of architectural inlay featured on this cupboard is believed to represent the Palace of Nonsuch, Cheam, built by Henry VIII towards the end of his reign. The gate-house leading to the outward court is depicted here, framed by narrow upright lantern-topped towers, with a pair of swans to the foreground. According to P. Macquoid, A History of English Furniture: The Age of Oak (1925), p. 127, the floral marquetry is 'probably emblematical of the celebrated gardens within the outer wall'.

    Normally this type of decoration is reserved solely for coffers. Several examples have survived, all with slight variations in the design of the inlay. Macquoid illustrates four, ibid., pl. VIIIb, figs. 103 - 105. Fig. 104 has similar floral marquetry as found here. An example reputed to have belonged to Sir Francis Drake is displayed at Berkeley Castle, Gloucestershire. Another, associated with the Earl of Leicester, was formerly at Chirk Castle. Traditionally, only the architectural detail of Nonsuch is depicted, with the emphasis on the celebrated towers and dormer windows, together with standard geometric parquetry. It is unusual to find the quantity of floral decoration employed here. An example with extensive use of arabesque floral marquetry, the property of George Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury, circa 1570, is on display in The Withdrawing Room, Hardwick Hall, Derbyshire.

    16th century furniture with this type of decoration was originally believed to have been imported from Cologne and the Rhineland, via Antwerp and the Rhine Estuary, see V. Chinnery, Oak Furniture: The British Tradition (1993), p. 356. Towards the end of the century it was made in England by immigrant German joiners and inlayers, probably in the Norwich and Southwark areas. Southwark Cathedral has a wonderful example of a Nonsuch chest, dated 1588, made to celebrate the Armada defeat, from which comparisons to the inlay employed here can be made. See P. Macquoid, op. cit., p. 65, fig. 57.
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