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- A good, late-17th century, oak chest of drawers
A good, late-17th century, oak chest of drawers
The plank top in two sections faced with an applied, moulded edge. The sides with one panel. The frieze with four side-hung, long drawers. All decorated with applied, geometric mouldings, and with replaced handles and escutcheons. The top drawer lined with blue paper and the others with pages from a mid-18th century workbook, probably in the hand of Winnifred, with the following moral, inscriptions penned in caligraphy :
" Wisdom ever charms , Tempt not to sin, Quit immoral men,
Love your neighbour, Honest poverty is true nobility, Quit extravagant company, Winnifred a saint, Tempt not to sin, Let prudence and moderation govern your action, Health is a valuable blessing , Virtue gains sure reputation, Politeness commands esteem, Pride intoxicates weak minds, Trust not in riches "
The lower moulding replaced and standing on stile feet, the back original, the front replaced. Excellent original colour and patina. English, second half of the 17th century.
This piece is simple in form, and the applied moulding decoration is characteristic within the period. The colour and patina have matured to an exceptional, crusty, lustrous surface. The graduation of tone ranges from the deep, thick, encrustation on the top and sides, to the lighter tones of the edges and mid-drawer fronts, which is consistent with the physical contact and use of the chest evolving into a subtle attraction in their own right. The moral inscriptions glued to the drawer linings, which is an unusual feature, give this chest great charm and character. They give an inherent connection with 18th century social, history, and a sense of the character of their author Winnifred.
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