• Item: Chest / Coffer
• Provenance West Country, England, UK
• Period: Charles I
• Circa: 1650
• Wood: Solid oak
• Rare sought after small size
• Primitive six-plank boarded design
• Original candle box
• Original demi-lune scribe carvings
• Original Chip edge carvings
• Working striking plate
• Working lock (with working key)
• Original lid, sides, back & bottom
• Original length “v shaped” cut-out bracket feet (stiles)
• Original polish & patination
• Superb deep rich oxblood colour
• Free delivery to England, Wales & Southern Scotland*
• Free 14-day UK returns
Here is a fine quality primitive antique English Charles I carved oak six-plank boarded chest / coffer, from the mid 17th century period, circa 1650, boasting original carvings, in good condition. The coffer is primitively constructed using six planks, with butt joints to the corners, held together by handmade iron nails. The lid, which features a nice over-hang, is decorated with simple thumb moulding to the front and sides of the lid. The lid incorporates later steel butt hinges and retails the steel clasp, possibly Georgian. The front board retains the steel striking plate and a working lock (with a working key). The interior is clean, dry and the coffer is practical and usable and retains the original candle box. You will note that the interior has been lined with early newspaper from the Macclesfield Courier & Herald, which cost five shillings and six pence, dated 8th November 1845! The corners of the chest are decorated with primitive chip edge carvings, and the front displays the original fine quality floral and vine leaf carvings, above a simple apron. The carvings to the front of the chest indicate that it may possibly have originated from Cheshire in the North West of England. The chest stands on its original length stiles (feet), which were constructed from saw cuts forming v-shaped bracket feet, which were deliberately continued higher on the external surface. It is nice to see the feet at the original height; usually they are cut down, damaged or some get worn away standing on damp / cold floors (as the feet were the main point of contact with damp floors). The back of the coffer features the original rough-hewn back and original floor. The coffer features the original wax polish therefore it has a lovely mellow oak colour and patination.
Such chests were used to store valuable possessions, and were common in many rooms of the house. Sometimes given as a dowry (wedding present); they were lockable and were used to store all manner of valuable possessions from weapons, clothing, and blankets to utensils.
This is an important carved oak coffer having been around in the days of Charles II, Cromwell’s conquest of Ireland & Scotland and the Great Fire of London. This style of primitive coffer was constructed all over England from the 16th century onwards and was the precursor to the chest of drawers. They were also used as benches. Local carpenters, rather than cabinetmakers made them for ubiquitous use in their local area.
This item would look great in a variety of rooms from the hallway, to the living room or bedroom, as an ottoman at the foot of the bed.
This carved oak coffer is in good condition which features its steel clasp, striking plate and working lock (with key). The floor, lid and to are original; likewise, the carvings on the front panel are original too. The lid incorporates later steel butt hinges and retails the steel clasp, possibly from the Georgian period. The coffer stands on the original length stiles (feet), which is rare to see. Nominal old marks to the top, edges, sides and front of the lid but nothing significant considering the age of the item. Such old use marks are inevitable and perfectly acceptable due to its age and use it would have received. The interior is clean, dry, and usable and retains its original candle box. Evidence of minor historical wood worm to the back and underside, which has been thoroughly treated (please note, coffers of this age nearly always contain historical woodworm). The coffer is solid in joint, it does not wobble on the floor and is ready to use. Considering the age of this early coffer, it is in good condition!
Height = 59.8cm or 23½” or 1ft 11½”
Width (lid) = 121cm or 47⅝” or 3ft 11⅝”
Width (body) = 115cm or 45¼” or 3ft 9¼”
Depth (lid) = 43cm or 17” or 1ft 5”
Depth (body) = 42.5cm or 16¾” or 1ft 4¾”
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