CHESTS OF DRAWERS (EARLY PANELED OAK) - 1650 to 1730
Distinctive, often ornamental, pieces of furniture made by traditional methods. Still produced by provincial and country makers
long after more sophisticated walnut veneered chests were introduced from the Continent in about 1670.
Various combinations of single and double depth drawers, cupboard doors enclosing drawers, and chest with hinged lid (latter early type). Four-drawer version became the norm in about
Sometimes two separate sections, join concealed by projecting mitred
moulding. Shallower mouldings are found between all drawers (or cupboard).
Two small, or one long, drawer(s) at top, above three long, inside seldom reaching
right to back of carcase. Separate overhanging to with moulding below (thumb-nail moulding from about 1700). Similar inverted moulding at base. All parts of front (and sometimes side
frisze) decorated with mitred mouldings, and often split turnings too, sometimes combined with inlay. Drawer fronts divided
decorative into two panels. Stile feet (i.e. the stiles of the :arcase extend below the base moulding) until about 1690 when bun feet appeared.
In the past, of limited appeal; more recently popular with decorators for 'bold' interiors. Those with inlay and plenty of moulded and split-turned decoration four or five times as
much as those with only edge mouldings to drawers. Only the latter still in three figures.
authenticity, look for signs of genuine wear - especially
on drawers and runners and natural movement of the wood
with slight warping and shrinkage along the grain.