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Livery cupboard

Category

Furniture

Date

circa 1830 (probably constructed, but with earlier timbers)

Materials

Carved and joined oak, holly and bog oak, iron hinges

Measurements

109 x 97.5 x 48 cm

Place of origin

England

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Collection

Nostell Priory, West Yorkshire (Accredited Museum)

NT 959706

Summary

A joined oak and inlaid livery cupboard, English, probably constructed in the 19th century from late 16th/17th century components, once thought to have come from a coffer, but more likely to have been salvaged from a tester bed. In its present form, with stiff-leaf carved toprails above a pair of cupboard doors, each formed from a panel inlaid with a vase issuing flowers and with an applied vine-carved arcade with leafy spandrels, a further pair of inlaid panels below. All above a pair of drawers with marquetry fronts. --

Full description

Once thought to have come from the 17th century house at Nostell, surviving bills and receipts suggest that much of the oak furniture at Nostell Priory was in fact purchased by Charles Winn (1795 - 1874), who inherited a house with many rooms unfinished. An interested antiquarian, Winn chose to furnish some of the rooms, such as the Lower Hall, Vestibule and West Passage, with furniture of the 16th and 17th centuries. Payments were made by Winn to E. Terry of Thornes, near Wakefield, for 'sundry pieces of antique oak furniture' in 1834 and to John Swaby, a curiosity dealer of Wardour Street, London, for 'several pieces of old carved wood' in May 1821, some of which were probably used by Winn to reconstruct parts of the interior of Wragby Church. Swaby made frequent buying trips to the Continent, and may well have supplied Winn with pieces like NT 959707, a Continental armoire, and NT 959805, a largely 16th century French cabinet in the manner of du Cerceau. Some pieces, such as NT 959709 (a chair), NT 959708 and NT 959826 (both settles), amongst others, were obviously fabricated in the 19th century, although all such pieces at Nostell do incorporate timber from genuine pieces of early furniture. Much of the oak furniture at Nostell is typically Yorkshire in style.

Provenance

Possibly purchased by Charles Winn (1795 – 1874), thence by descent and transferred from the Treasury in lieu of tax in 2007.

References

Westgarth 2009, M. Westgarth, 'A Biographical Register of Nineteenth Century Antique and Curiosity Dealers', Regional Furniture XXIII (2009), 1 - 205, 17, 35 - 41, 109, 131, 169 - 171, 172 & Plates 21 - 27 Raikes, 2003: S.Raikes. ““A cultivated eye for the antique”: Charles Winn and the enrichment of Nostell Priory in the nineteenth century.” Apollo 157.494 (2003): pp.3-8., 5 - 6, Figure 6

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