Upper Part Of Buffet

4 ft. wide by i ft. 6 ins. high by i ft. 6 ins. deep.

Date about iOSo. Cecil Millar, Esq.

The Lancashire types of these court cupboards are equally^ unmistakable to one who has studied many examples which have remained in situ in their county of origin. The difference between these and others from further south and south-west is rather subtle and difficult to explain by illustration alone. The oak, in many instances, either shows signs of staining with oxide of iron, or is naturally of more reddish tint than that of Shropshire. Mouldings are frequently of heavier section ; not worked on the styles and rails, but planted on the panels and pinned to the framing. Fig. 103 is an example of this kind. The upper panels have a crude inlay of holly, box and fruit-woods, chopped in the solid oak. The doors above, open with their mouldings without surrounding framings, and the lock is on the cupboard styles, and locks into the door ; a reversal of the usual custom. Figs. 104 and 105 show another peculiarity ; a conventional ornament neatly grounded out, but with no carving relief, much the same as flat applied fretwork. Sometimes a little incising of the raised ornament is attempted, as in the upper frieze of Fig. 105, and a raised rebated panel (" fielded " is the usually7 accepted term) as in the lower doors, is occasionally, but rarely, inserted. The chief difference between the court-cupboards from varying localities is in general proportions, and these are difficult of explanation. The pendant acorn of Fig. 105 is a Lancashire device, and also the low upper-part in comparison with the carcase below. This characteristic is still further exemplified in the standing cupboard from Yorkshire and further

north. Fig. 106 is of this kind. The cornice moulding is a later addition, and rather spoils the general effect, as cornices of any kind are rare in these cupboards, the tops being closed in by a platform of thin boards, with the grain running from back to front, as pointed out before. These northern pieces are generally simple, with ornament very much in the Lancashire style, but the general proportions are heavier. They are also

OAK BUFFET

3 ft. 9 ins. wide by 4 ft. high by 1 ft. b ins. deep.

Date about 1670-S0. Cecil Millar, Esq.

OAK BUFFET

3 ft. 9 ins. wide by 4 ft. high by 1 ft. b ins. deep.

Date about 1670-S0. Cecil Millar, Esq.

usually of late date, as a margin of from twenty to forty years must be added to the period of a prevailing fashion, in considering the probable age of north-country pieces. The thin top-boards to the lower part of these standing cupboards should be noted, as this peculiarity will be found in nearly every7 example illustrated, whether from north, south, east or west of England.

One fine type, and probably of south-western origin, is the court cupboard shown in Fig. 107. The carving is in very low relief, in some instances, as in the styles between the upper doors, almost of chip-carved character, and the ornament is employed in the

Fig. 112. OAK COURT CUPBOARD.

Date about 1660. 8'.

Fig. 113. OAK COURT CUPBOARD.

6 ft. I in. wide by 4 ft. high by 1 ft. 11 ins. deep. Fated 1637.

form of long bands, of which there are six from the existing portion of the top cresting to the bottom guilloche-carved rail of the lower carcase. The bulbs are heavy and plain, without squares either at the top or bottom, and secured merely by dowels. The provision of two drawers above the lower doors is unusual in these cupboards, and the raised bead or jewel decoration of the fronts is exceptional in the work of the southwestern counties. There is a line subdued richness in the whole character of this example which is almost typical of Devonshire or Somerset work. The same character can be noticed in the oak bedstead from Great Fulford, shown in Fig. 396 of Vol. I.

Sideboards or buffets of the early seventeenth century, of two stages, with bulb-turned balusters on the outer corners, as already illustrated in Fig. 85, are rare, but where the upper tier is enclosed by a central door, with panelled flanks on either side splayed at an angle to the uprights of the back,—angle-buffets as they are usually termed,—they are still more exceptional. Fig. 108 is a choice example of this kind, the lower stage somewhat restored, as one nearly always finds in these early seventeenth-century oak pieces. The upper stage is fixed to a thin shelf or platform, and rests on the lower part, without dowels or other fixing. Of Essex or Suffolk make, this is a very fine example both of its period and locality. Fig. 109 is another of these angle-buffets, of somewhat later date and not so vigorous in execution.

Fig. 114. OAK CHEST.

Mid-seventeenth century. C. H. Woodruff, Esq.

Fig. 114. OAK CHEST.

Mid-seventeenth century. C. H. Woodruff, Esq.

The East Anglian work of the later seventeenth century is distinguished by accurate proportioning and fine detail, allied with a strong and unmistakable Dutch influence. Considering the close intercourse between Norfolk and Suffolk and the Low Countries, this is in no way remarkable, but it requires a nice discrimination to differentiate between pieces made here under Dutch influence (frequently the work of foreign artisans) and those which were actually imported. Fig. no is the upper part of a small buffet, the lower stage of which has disappeared. It is without carving, and has many details, such as the bulb-turning of the outside balusters, the twisting of the half-balusters flanking the central panel, and the applied half-bosses of the frieze and its keystone trusses, \\ liich suggest Holland rather than England. The panels are painted in imitation of the scrolled marqueterie which was coming into fashion at this period, but the colours have faded, with the exception of the red berries in the design, which are still bright. The whole piece is exceptional and interesting.

Still more strongly permeated from Dutch sources, although undeniably of English

Fig. 115. OAK CHEST.

Date about 1665. C. H. Woodruff, Esq.

Fig. 115. OAK CHEST.

Date about 1665. C. H. Woodruff, Esq.

make, is the open buffet shown in Fig. hi. The cushion-moulding of the two friezes, divided by fine double beads, and especially the downward tapering of the bulbs, are details typical of East Anglian work, and this form of turning will be found in several of the legs of the tables illustrated in the next chapter. The bottom board here has been restored, but the buffet is, otherwise, original and a fine example of its district.

Fig. 112, which is East Anglian work of about the date of the Restoration, has

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Fig. 116. OAK CABINET

Date about 1650-60. Messrs. Gregory and Co.

also suffered by being fitted with turned feet, and a later bottom rail, at a date subsequent to its original manufacture. The Norfolk type of strap-hinge will be noticed. These hinges, of wrought iron, are original in this example, which is rarely the case at the present day. The panels in the upper stage are fitted with pilastered arches, very finely carved, alternating with the " inner-frame," or key-centred forms constructed by framing, in mouldings only, one rectangular panel inside the larger one. This type of panel-decoration, in which twenty internal and four external mitres are needed for each complete panel, became a very favourite pattern after about 1660, but is somewhat rare in furniture prior to this date, although in panellings the detail is used at a much earlier period. The rich double-moulded framing of these panels

Fig. 117. OAK CABINET.

Date about 1660-70.

Fig. 117. OAK CABINET.

Date about 1660-70.

is worthy of careful note. The entire piece, with the exceptions noted above, is in fine and original condition, and of the highest quality even for its locality and period. The oak has been varnished, and is now a rich mellow golden brown in shade. The piece originally finished on the floor on three square stumps, prolongations of the outside and central uprights, but these were, probably, decayed when the present turned feet were substituted.

The next example, Fig. 113, is of the Midland type, and is probably now, in a room in a house at Henley-in-Arden, not far from its original county of origin. Here are the East "Anglian arcaded and pilastered panels, but treated in quite another fashion, with ornament much more closely drawn and flattened in execution. This cupboard is squat for its length, but it has never been higher. It is early for its type, if the carved date

Fig. 118. OAK AND WALNUT^ CABINET.

Date about 1670. W. Evans, Esq.

Fig. 118. OAK AND WALNUT^ CABINET.

Date about 1670. W. Evans, Esq.

is to be relied upon, and there is no obvious reason to doubt this, as the piece is original and there would have been no purpose to be served in carving a date prior to its actual period upon it. The band immediately under the carved date emphasizes its Western-Midland origin, and the double-flattened scrolling on either side of the date copies a type of chair-cresting usually found on Warwickshire chairs. One might, with considerable reason, guess that Coventry or its neighbourhood was the locality from which this court-cupboard originally emanated.

The chest, Fig. 114, has the appearance of Kentish work of the Rye or Roinney

Fig. 119. OAK CABINET.

Date about 1670. Messrs. Gregory and Co.

Fig. 119. OAK CABINET.

Date about 1670. Messrs. Gregory and Co.

Marsh district, as the French type of the two central uprights, the flattened leaf with fillet, twisting to a central guilloche encircling a round representation of the Tudor rose, and the chevrons of the central arch and its pilasters below, are quite in the manner of some of the preserved Kentish work of this district. Intercourse between the southern Kentish coast and France was irregular, and of varied character, since the days when the French rovers partially burned Rye Church and pillaged the country round. Reprisals followed on Calais, quite in the modern approved manner, yet a good deal of the artistic influence of France was assimilated by the woodworkers of Rye, as much of the original work still to be found in small houses in that ancient town bears witness.

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