Mid-17th Century Oak and Elm Boarded Glass Case/Hanging Cabinet
Mid-17th Century Oak and Elm Boarded Glass Case/Hanging Cabinet
Mid-17th Century Oak and Elm Boarded Glass Case/Hanging Cabinet
Mid-17th Century Oak and Elm Boarded Glass Case/Hanging Cabinet

Mid-17th Century Oak and Elm Boarded Glass Case/Hanging Cabinet

c. 1640 to 1660 England

Offered by Thomas Coulborn & Sons


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The simple cornice with incised curves forming geometric decoration highlighted with a cross-headed punch, above a pair of chain-carved arches centred by a delicate stylised tulip, the spandrels each carved with pairs of pointed-leaves, the pillars carved with alternating single daisies and linked pairs of tulips, headed by Ionic capitals, the single middle-shelf with a bicuspid shaped apron decorated with linear gauge-carving above simple incised-carved pairs of tulip flowers amongst conforming incised curves and punched crosses, moulded base rail.

In his book 'Oak Furniture: The British Tradition' (Antique Collectors’ Club, 1990), Victor Chinnery illustrates several examples of boarded glass cases (pp. 339-341). Chinnery notes that: 'Cheap and coarsely-made drinking glasses were fairly plentiful even in lower middle class homes in the sixteenth century and seventeenth centuries, but owing to their fragile nature some special system of storing them was a necessity. The answer was a lightly-built case of shelves, known as a glass case, glass perch or glass cupboard, which first made an appearance toward the end of the sixteenth century. These were sometimes provided with doors in the same manner as a food cupboard, but the usual seventeenth century version has open shelves' (pp.336-340). In addition to glasses, such shelves were also used to house a variety of different items.

The majority of glass cupboards appear to follow the same basic design with a twin arched frieze, with or without a central support, over a single-shelf, flanked by pillars. They are considered the forerunner to the delft and dresser rack. An example of a boarded glass case in St. Fagans National History Museum, Wales (illustrated in Victor Chinnery’s Oak Furniture: The British Tradition, p. 340, figure 3:328) is of highly comparable formThe open-shelf apron is also decorated with pairs of upturned tulips and of similar shape. These hanging shelves are dated to around 1620-50 and are provenanced to Chirk Castle, owned by the Myddleton family from the late 16th century until 2004 (currently owned by the National Trust). The maker is unknown. It is likely that both sets of shelves derive from the same workshop.
Illustrated and discussed in the article by Victor Chinnery: 'Antique Collecting: The Journal of the Antique Collectors' Club' (volume 33, number 4, September 1998, p.18) in which it is described as 'An oak glass cupboard hung on the wall to keep valuable drinking glasses out of harms way'.
Height 64.00 cm (25.20 inches)
Width 67.00 cm (26.38 inches)
Depth 21.00 cm (8.27 inches)
Stock Code
Oak and Elm
Thomas Coulborn & Sons

Thomas Coulborn & Sons
Vesey Manor
64 Birmingham Road
Sutton Coldfield
West Midlands
B72 1QP

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