FINE ENGLISH CHIPPENDALE MAHOGANY MINIATURE SPICE CABINET
England c. 1770
Item # 503LWZ28A
Crafted of wonderfully vibrant mahogany primary woods, this fine English spice cabinet is quite expressive with an unusual sense of presence. The finished top is edged by projecting molding over original and untouched pierced greek-key fretwork. The fretwork hides a drawer in the front that originally had a small wooden spring latch that kept the drawer inaccessible without removing the shaped drawer in the center of the case and depressing the wooden spring from a small hole in the back of this drawer cubby - the wooden spring has since been broken off and removed, but the device allowed the entire upper half to be locked by a single key. The lowest right drawer in the upper portion is signed on the bottom by one of it's prior owners, reading "E. Gilbert Chichester, Nov. 25th 1817, Cost Me...", the price paid at that time no longer legible.
The door swings on tiny original brass hinges to reveal the handsome interior of tiny drawers, each hand dovetailed with a nailed bottom. The cabinet is crafted in two parts, the top resting on the lower section with a waist of concave molding hiding the joint. The lower section has a broad single drawer with cockbead molding around the edges. It rests over ogival bracket feet, the front feet quite attractive replacements, the back feet original with some original blocking. The backboards are untouched with a nut brown oxidization from years of exposure, all still retaining their original cut iron brads.
For the serious collector of English decorative arts and furnishings, this is a quite wonderful find that will certainly be a cherished part of your collection for a lifetime.
Measurements: 10 1/4" D x 19" W x 24" H
Loss to greek-key fretwork at left front and back right corners. Piece of replaced molding under fretwork on left side; patch and loss to molding on left side of the waist. Veneer patching around drawer, loss of right side cockbead molding. Front feet replaced, back feet original. Finish old w/ light wear; front feet w/ a recent glossy shellac. Wooden spring beneath the "secret drawer" in the fretwork that originally locked it is absent. No key.