Jan & John Maggs

Antiques and Art

17th-century oak coffer with painted sunk relief face

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At first glance, a conventional three-panel coffer with a beautiful carved frieze and three panels, each containing a carved lozenge.

Upon closer examination, however, one notices that the relief surfaces were painted black, a less common feature that emphasizes both the structure and the details of the carving.

The lid was constructed of three panels also, but the rails and stiles are not grooved, like those on the face.

The sides and back are joined also, but with one and two panels, respectively. Clearly, this is a coffer meant to be viewed from the front.

The interior contains a narrow till, and a cleat has been added at one end, probably to keep out dust and intruders.

While one might expect a matching cleat on the other end, the presence of the till probably prevented it.

The rear feet fell victim to the damp that pervaded early homes with dirt “ground” floors and have been tipped to keep the coffer level.

Excellent color and condition.

English, ca. 1660.

Dimensions: 44” X 21”; 27 ¾” tall.

Price: $975

Inventory #25727

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