An important George II polychrome-painted chest-on-stand, Channel Islands, circa 1750
Lot 318TP
An important George II polychrome-painted chest-on-stand, Channel Islands, circa 1750
£30,000 - 40,000
US$ 41,000 - 54,000

The Oak Interior

20 Sep 2017, 11:00 BST

London, New Bond Street

Lot Details
An important George II polychrome-painted chest-on-stand, Channel Islands, circa 1750 An important George II polychrome-painted chest-on-stand, Channel Islands, circa 1750
An important George II polychrome-painted chest-on-stand, Channel Islands, circa 1750
The box-top with a twin-plank hinged top, the lower front with a single long drawer, the stand with a further long drawer and deep ovolo edge-moulding, raised on short front cabriole legs and square-section back legs, interior lidded till, retaining the original painted-decoration, boldly decorated in cream, brown and burnt-orange, with pairs of carnations, 'roses' or 'lilies' and tulips, against a dark-green ground, and with scrolls surrounding the drawer and front base moulding, the sides with sponged-decoration, 102cm wide x 49cm deep x 98cm high, (40in wide x 19in deep x 38 1/2in high)


  • Provenance:
    -Avon Antiques, Bradford-on-Avon, Wiltshire.
    -Purchased Robert Young Antiques, London, 2nd February, 2002.

    Illustrated: Regional Furniture Society Newsletter, Summer 1994, No. 20, front cover.

    This important paint-decorated chest-on-stand is one of at least five recorded related examples. They were made almost certainly in the same workshop, and possibly painted by the same hand. This Lot is the only one constructed entirely of oak, the other four are principally pine, with ash or oak legs.

    Similar examples

    - The decoration on one chest incorporates the date '1754' and initials 'RBH'. Sold Sotheby's, Sussex, 1990, Lot 223, and is now in the Guernsey Museum & Art Gallery Collection, St Peter Port, Guernsey.
    - Another of the same basic form and decorated patterns, but with two drawers, sold Sotheby's, London, The Tristram Jellinek Collection, 9th & 10th May 1996, Lot 306.
    - A third example, predominantly painted with tulips, sold Sotheby's Sussex, 5th & 6th June 1990.
    - A fourth chest, with square-section legs and three drawers, but again with virtually identical decoration, sold Martel Maides Auctions, Guernsey, 30th November, 2002, Lot 209.
    - A further related decorated boarded chest, with a base drawer but no stand, is in the collection of The National Trust of Guernsey Folk & Costume Museum, Saumarez Park, Guernsey.

    In an article written by Christopher Gilbert, Regional Furniture Society Newsletter, Summer 1994, No. 20, p. 10, the author suggests that a possible origin for the chests' painted design lies in the 'ornamental nail patterns on leather covered trunks in vogue in the Channel Islands c.1680 - 1760'. These trunks, known as 'baheurs', were often made as bridal chests. They incorporated symbolic betrothal decoration in the form of carnations and roses, along with the owner's initials and wedding date. It is probable that these painted oak and pine chests were also made as dowry chests.

    This Lot and the aforementioned examples would appear to form an important link between British/European furniture traditions and America. Both in terms of decoration, and to a lesser extent construction, they can be compared to painted furniture made in central and coastal Connecticut, U.S.A., in the early 18th century. This is most evident in decorated chests attributed to Charles Guillam [Guillaume], [1671 - 1727]. Born in Jersey, Guillam emigrated to America, possibly as early as 1703. Working in Saybrook, Connecticut, he used painted tulips and roses as decorative motifs, along with the distinctive scrolls found on the bottom front rail and around the drawers of the Channel Island chests. See The Henry Francis du Pont Winterthur Museum Collection, Winterthur, Delaware, for several chests attributed to Guillam, or in the manner of, that bear some resemblance to this lot, in particular a chest with base drawer [no. 1958.0571], along with a chest on stand, [no. 1957.1110]; and a small table box [no. 1958.1502].
Auction information

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TP Off site storage location

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  1. David Houlston
    Specialist - Oak Furniture
    Banbury Road
    Oxford, United Kingdom OX5 1JH
    Work 01865 853667
    FaxFax: +44 1865 372 722
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