A rare set of five Elizabethan painted sycamore roundels
Lot 6
A rare set of five Elizabethan painted sycamore roundels
Sold for £8,000 (US$ 13,262) inc. premium
Auction Details
Lot Details
A rare set of five Elizabethan painted sycamore roundels
Each inscribed to the centre with a verse within a border of scrolling flowers in green and pink highlighted in gilt, with gilt outer border, each with a paper label 'Bt at Christies, lot 78 May 28.89. One of a set of 5 old English ROUNDEL TRENCHERS. In original box'; now contained in a 17th century turned beech roundel box naively scratch carved with a design of fish and fowl, the roundels 13cm in diameter (5" in diamater), the box 15.5cm (6" in diamater).

Footnotes

  • Provenance: the Roundel box, Christie's, London, The El-Helou Collection, 19th May 1999, lot 786 (£4693).
    The Roundels Alistair Sampson, London, 22nd December 1993, (£3600)

    Related Literature: Edward H. Pinto Treen and Other Wooden Bygones, 1969, pl. 77

    Roundels of this type were used at banquets as a form of entertainment. Sets of typically eight roundels would be arranged before each diner toward the end of a feast and placed with the decorated side facing down. Guests would then use the plain side as a trencher to eat such delicacies as marzipan or sugar plumbs. After feasting, once Grace had been said, guests would turn over the roundels to reveal painted images and verses which could then be sung or recited in turn, probably to the accompaniment of a lute (see Edward H. Pinto Op. Cit., 1969, p. 80).

    Similar examples sold Sotheby's London 'The W.J.Shepherd collection of Treen', 30 November 1983, lot 1770 and subsequently in the same rooms 6 June 2006, lot 228 and Christies, South Kensington, 14 November 2001, lot 227.
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