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17th Century William and Mary Period Kingwood Oyster Strongbox or Coffre Fort

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17th Century William and Mary Period Kingwood Oyster Strongbox or Coffre Fort

A fine large and rare kingwood oyster strongbox or Coffre Fort, circa 1680-1700, England.

Adorned with highly decorative gilt brass strap work and decorated entirely in knife cut oysters of kingwood, this box is fit for the most discerning of collector.

The large gilt brass shield-shaped clasp opens on a push-spring release to reveal a box interior lined in rosewood with two drawers, a compartment, securing bolts and 5 well-hidden boxes within.

Once the lid, which conceals two secret boxes behind its drop-down compartment, is opened you can reach inside to slide the original gilt brass bolt lock to open the fall. Once the fall is open you will find two long drawers divided by a secret compartment and a further two are hidden above.

Boxes of this form were as much a status symbol of the period as they were a functional object and subsequently became popular amongst the great and noble, royal even, and can still be found in some of the most important houses such as Burghley House, Chatsworth and Ham House.

Condition

Good. Wear consistent with age and use.

Dimensions

Height: 12.6 in. (32 cm)
Width: 21.26 in. (54 cm)
Depth: 12.21 in. (31 cm)

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The miniature table cabinet opens to an arrangement of drawers, a row of four, a bank of four and a long pen drawer, similarly veneered in oysters of olive.

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When the most expensive timber of the 17th century met Thomas Pistor. There were, in fact, two cabinet-makers called Thomas Pistor, father and son, working for a period at the same time but at different premises. One or both are known to have made furniture of quality for Levens Hall.

17th Century William and Mary Kingwood Strongbox

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A 17th century William and Mary Kingwood strongbox, with gilt brass straps. This strongbox has to be one of the most charming and certainly the smallest example we have encountered, at just 17.5 cm high, 28 cm wide and 18 cm deep. A strongbox of similar merit form and style resides at Burghley House in ‘The 1st George State Room.

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