Tuesday, 23 September 2014


                                                   Mystery Object.

About a fortnight ago I went along with the Collectors Branch of our local U3A to view a local auction, which has just moved its rooms into our area. I left a bid on the above oak item.At the auction  two days later  the hammer  fell at about half my bid, which is reassuring as it was a new auction room to me. It was also reassuring as I've known auctioneers who would have taken bids 'off the chandelier' until the top bid was reached. It indicates that we've got an honest man of principle on the rostrum.

          Can you suggest the date it was made,  where it was made, and for what purpose? Extra credit will go to any reader who can give the generic  name of the type of decoration on the item, which in this case will indicate the period of the piece.

Good guessing.

P.s. Sorry. Should have given you the size of the item. It is seventeen inches high, fourteen inches wide, and eight inches deep.


Rog said...

That pesky chandelier normally runs me up!

If in doubt, I always suggest "campaign chest" and possibly 17th Century.

A very nice looking piece and I look forward to learning what it actually is!

Crowbard said...

How about a William and Mary paneled oak spice cupboard around 1690...

You can't hold a candle to an auctioneer who doesn't abuse his chandelier.

I like Rog's idea but the cabinet does not appear to split and the dimensions would require a very small campaigner...
or perhaps someone from the 'Be kind to your donkey brigade'???

Crowbard said...

Very Many Happy Returns for tomorrow dear Bruv.
wiv luv from me'n'Judy

kippy said...

1720, English, herb/spice cupboard. Happy birthday tomorrow!

Mike and Ann said...

Once again, you've got the lot between you. It is, of course, an English spice cabinet or cupboard. In my opinion it dates from around 1680. It has had one or two repairs over the centuries, but generally in nice condition. It is in a style that's usually known as Jacobean, but if my dating is right, it would have been made in Charles the Second's reign, so should, I suppose be known as Carolean, but I'm probably being a little pedantic.
I think, overall, Kippy got closest (as per usual). Oh and thank you for the birthday wishes.
Best regards, Mike.

kippy said...

Ah yes, but your brother was closer re: the date of the item! Were herbs and spices stored in the same cupboards (different drawers)in the 1600s and 1700s?

Mike and Ann said...

Thank you Kippy; that is very sporting of you, although it's perhaps as well to remember that dating an object is always a matter of opinion. I don't really know the answer to your other question, although I think it perfectly probable that they were stored in the same cabinet, providing the herbs had been properly dried. I think that maybe herbs were usually hung in bunches, partly to dry, and partly for storage, although in a biggish spice cabinet with lots of drawers, i.e. storage space, herbs and spices may well have been stored together (in different drawers though).

Crowbard said...

I'm happy to accept your definition 'Jacobean' as a style rather than a period; but I've seen near identical spice cabinets catalogued as 'William & Mary'(differing only in the key-hole escutcheon being of pierced brass), but as you say, dating such a piece is not a precise art without provenance and a decade or two could drop it into a choice of regnant monarchs. I recognize your far greater knowledge and feel for antiques and am content for Kippy to have the laurels and thank him for his gallantry.

Nea said...

I wrote my guesses down before I checked here and had the following:
"Wales, West Country. 1685. Spice cabinet. "
Is there a special word for the type of decoration on the door?