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ENGLISH OAK TWO-PART CUPBOARD

Description:
Views: 2927 Added: 04/14/2009 Updated: 04/14/2009
One of the more charming aspects of English country furniture is the adaptation of the styles which were in favor in the London workshops in the 18th and 19th centuries.

The craftsmen from the English villages were not totally obedient to the fashions of the time or the rules of construction of the London cabinetmakers but they did have access to the popular pattern books. They often used these as inspiration but combined the designs with their own ideas of beauty and practicality.

They could not have been mere copiers even if they wanted to be because they were limited by the unavailability of the exotic woods needed for the "fancy furniture" and the arsenal of tools at hand would have been smaller than was needed for the intricate carving, marquetry etc.   

This oak two part cupboard is a wonderful example of the country craftsmen's homage to the Neo-Classical influence of the time. The form is similar to a secretary bookcase but this piece probably served as a kitchen cupboard with the top section housing prized dishes and Staffordshire rather than leather bound books.   

The geometric banding and diamond inlays are classical in feeling with influence of the Sheraton style but the rural origins of this piece are obvious due to the use of the woods indigenous to England; oak, yew, and walnut.   

Had this piece been made in a London workshop it most certainly would have been constructed of mahogany and would have had more intricate inlays of exotic woods; all beyond the reach or desire of the country craftsman and his customers.   

Note the slightly "wonky" glazing bars; beautifully molded but not quite straight. These quirky touches to my mind, contribute to the charm of the piece.   

The two part cupboard is in original condition throughout and dates around 1820. Measuring 76" high, 43" wide at base, 39 1/2" wide at top, 17 1/2" deep at base, and 13" deep at top.

Author:   Judy King Watson
Phone: (828) 254-9667
Web-site: http://www.king-thomasson.com
E-mail: Ask for Details

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