First half of the seventeenth century. St. Alban's Abbey.
and 3Tet not mannered, that this is an early piece of its type, probably dating from the last decade of the sixteenth century.
Of somewhat later date, but in very similar style to this two-tier sideboard, or buffet, is the charming oak box or desk illustrated here in Figs. 86 and 87. The carving of the sloping-hinged front, in bold relief, appears to suggest that this was rather an illuminator's colour box than a desk, and the nest of drawers was probably7 intended to contain the bladders of pigment or gold in powder or leaf form. The sloping front is finely carved with the royal arms of James I, which show that this example is of seventeenth- not of sixteenth-century date. The sides, above the reeded band, are somewhat crudely inlaid in the manner of the period. This box is the direct prototype of the later slope-fronted bureau.
With the next example we are introduced to the process of lathe-turning, in the fashioning of wood, and although turning is found in the chairs of the reign of Henry VIII, these " tourneyed chairs " were, evidently, a novelty, and much prized at that date, as they are frequently referred to in the inventories of the time, a distinction shared only with important chests of ornate character. That turning was an actual innovation
in the middle years of the sixteenth century would appear to be an established fact, yet it may be only a revival. There was little or no scope for its use in the earlier furniture, yet, in the chancel screens of the very first years of the fourteenth century, as at Chinnor in Oxfordshire, and at Southacre in Norfolk, the shafts of the columns under the traceried heads are of round section, if not actually lathe-turned. The early English aisle columns of stone would offer the suggestion, and, as we have seen,
Fig. 89. OAK DOLE CUPBOARD.
Tirst half of the seventeenth century.
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