This unusual walnut cabinet-on-chest has a central Roman triumphal arch and fluted pilasters on its cabinet, and an ingeniously conceived drawer, combining the lopers, on the lower part which is designed as a bachelor's chest. The superb quality of the piece, not only in its construction and choice of veneer, but also in its architectural design, points to the same cabinet-maker as the unusual bachelor's chest sold from the Parry Collection, in these Rooms, 24 April 1997, lot 270. The Parry bachelor's chest had the rare feature of a raised superstructure of four drawers, above a similar hinged top.
The collection of Mr. and Mrs. Geoffrey Hart was begun at Wych Cross, Sussex. They were advised by the furniture historian R. W. Symonds in many of their purchases. After Geoffrey Hart's premature death in 1946, Mrs. Hart moved first to 9 Hyde Park Gardens and then to the Villa Millbrook, St Lawrence, Jersey where her collection of English and French furniture and mainly Flemish and Dutch 17th century Old Master Pictures was elegantly displayed and recorded in Clifford Musgrave's two articles in Connoisseur (At the Villa Millbrook', June and July 1965).
Mr. and Mrs. Melvyn Rollason were passionate collectors of English oak and walnut furniture and early English clocks.
In 1939, they moved to Ludstone Hall in South-East Shropshire, a moated Jacobean manor house for which their collection was especially well suited. Arthur Oswald described the glories of Ludstone in three Country Life articles during January 1952, in the third of which he wrote 'Mr. Rollason's collection of furniture has been acquired with the ruling idea of buying what would look best in the house. How successful his principle has been applied the photographs of the rooms themselves show. At the same time he admits to a liking, very widely shared, for fine pieces of the age of walnut and clocks of the Tompion era have a special fascination for him'. This cabinet-on-chest typifies the early walnut furniture the Rollason's collected, complemented by early English clocks of the same period. Part of Mr and Mrs Rollason's collection from Ludstone Hall was sold at Christie's, London, 3 July 1997, lots 151-185.