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    Sale 5969

    A West Country Tradition - Avon Antiques, Bradford-upon-Avon, Wiltshire

    21 May 2009, London, South Kensington

  • Lot 149

    A GEORGE I PEWTER-INLAID, FIELD MAPLE AND KINGWOOD CABINET

    EARLY 18TH CENTURY, ATTRIBUTED TO COXED AND WOSTER

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A GEORGE I PEWTER-INLAID, FIELD MAPLE AND KINGWOOD CABINET
    EARLY 18TH CENTURY, ATTRIBUTED TO COXED AND WOSTER
    The cornice with cushion drawer, above a pair of doors geometrically inlaid with pewter and kingwood banding, enclosing a fitted interior of eleven drawers with gilt-brass handles and a central cupboard enclosing a further four drawers and a secret compartment, the base with two short and two graduated long drawers, on later bun feet
    68 in. (173 cm.) high; 42½ in. (108 cm.) wide; 19¾ in. (50 cm.) deep


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    This cabinet is attributed to G. Coxed and T. Woster, cabinet-makers trading at 'The White Swan' in St. Paul's Churchyard from circa 1690 until 1736. Coxed and Woster are often associated with so-called 'mulberry' furniture - furniture veneered in maple or alder stained to resemble tortoiseshell, so producing a rich golden tone. The use of pewter inlay often appeared in their earlier work.

    The process of creating this veneer is derived from two methods outlined in Stalker and Parker's Treatise of Japanning and Varnishing of 1688. The chosen veneer (often ash, elm or most commonly, maple), is stained yellow with Aqua fortis (nitric acid) and then rubbed with 'lampblack' (soot). The acid penetrates deeply into areas of soft grain which the lampblack colours richly, giving rise to a three-dimensional effect. The final stage is to pare back the surface until the desired contrast of light and dark is achieved. For a full discussion of the technique and many of the myths surrounding the fashion of stained ash, elm or maple veneering at this date, see A. Bowett, 'Myths of English Furniture History: Mulberry Wood Furniture by Coxed and Woster', Antique Collecting, October 1998, pp. 32-35.

    Although Coxed and Woster were in production until 1736, the majority of their 'mulberry wood' furniture was produced between c. 1690 and c. 1720, the rich appearance of the 'mulberry' being in keeping with the tastes of the time for lavish-looking materials (M. Riccardi-Cubitt, 'Round the Mulberry Bush', Antique Collector, March 1996, pp. 80-85).

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    No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 15% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.


    Provenance

    Warren Stratford Trevors.