"Old English Walnut and Lacquer Furniture", R.W.Symonds, 1921
"Furniture in The Collection of Lord Plender", Apollo, Vol. XIV, 1931
"Furniture from the Indies", The Connoisseur, Vol. XCIII, 1934
The Connoisseur, June 1943
The Antique Collector, May/June 1944
Country Life, June 14th, 1956
Lord Plender's collection of furniture at Ovenden in Ken comprised principally English pieces of the 17th and 18th centuries. The present Japanese cabinet was probably imported to England, during Charles II's reign, when "Indian goods" arriving via Holland, became the height of fashion. The trade between Japan and Europe began with the Portuguese in the 16th century, who shared a monopoly with the Chinese, but passed later to the Dutch who remained dominant until the opening of Japan in the 19th century.
Despite the efforts of European "japanners" to discover a substitute, Japanese lacquer formed from urushi, the sap of the lacquer tree, rhus vernicifera, was always superior, both in technical quality and in its design and composition. The shippo-hanabishi borders are an interesting feature of this cabinet, since they derive from the cabinets and other items produced during the Momoyama period when Japanese art was much influenced by the vigorous Christianity of the Portuguese Jesuit missionaries led by St. Francis Xavier. At that time they would have been combined with a great deal of inlaid shell decoration, but this has now been replaced by flower, shrubs and landscapes.
The "arabesque" cherubim of the stand may be related to a table attributed to the sculptor-carver Grinling Gibbons (d. 1721), while its frieze relates to carvings in Trinity College chapel, Oxford (see D. Green, Grinling Gibbons, 1964, plates 119 and 121).