Beatrix Potter believed that hand-crafted objects possessed an honesty and charm that machine-made objects simply didn't have. She was particularly fond of traditional Lakeland furniture, and this carved oak cupboard dating from 1667 was her favourite. Having purchased it at a farm auction, Beatrix bemoaned that such pieces were being 'riven out of ancestral homes'.
Oak court cupboard, dated 1667, of Westmorland/N. Lancs. origin; framed and panelled; frieze of interlocking leaf-chains with date in centre; turned drop finials; upper stage of two long doors on peg-hinges, either side of panel carved with lozenge and leaf design; lower stage of two doors in centre. There is a panel on the right end with an old lock-plate in it; moreover the interior structure is entirely new, which raises the possibility that part of the lower stage was omitted during rebuilding (the piece is untypically low), although the rear uprights are whole and in tact. A faint zigzag border with floral motifs runs round the frame of the upper stage.
Lit. 'BP's Americans' p.124 ff, letter of 11 Oct. 1940 to Bertha Mahony Miller, [a sketch of F.29] 'The above is my favourite court cupboard. It is very plain, except the middle, fixed panel, which has good carving. It will be noted that by 1667 all pillars had become droppers ..... [F.29]