The breakfront of this mahogany bookcase overflows with a jumble of Parminter family souvenirs: shells, beadwork, semi-precious stones and votive statues piled onto raked shelving papered with Italian gouaches and prints bought in Switzerland. It is a rare surviving 'cabinet of curiosities', of a type beloved by18th-century antiquarians. Jane and Mary Parminter used this bookcase to store and display objects collected during their Grand Tour of Europe, while family members from subsequent generations have added to the collection over the years.
Bookcase - mahogany breakfront, the upper part with glazed doors (the glazing bars forming octagonal design), the central section lined in green with canted shelves to hold collection of shells and curios, the side sections with bookshelves; the base with drawers over cupboards, the drawers with brass C-handles on circular plates. Reputed to have been made to hold Parminters' Grand Tour collection. C.1800.
A label affixed on the top indicates it was made for George Frend of Kenton, Devon, who was Jane Parminter's brother in law. He died in 1801 and his widow in 1805 and it appears that after either the first or second of those deaths this piece passed to Jane of A La Ronde since when it has been used as a cabinet of curiosities to display items including epherema from the Grand Tour. Purchased from Mrs Tudor Perkins 1991