William and Mary kingwood oyster table box, (chest on stand), circa 1690.
William and Mary kingwood oyster table box, (chest on stand), circa 1690.
William and Mary kingwood oyster table box, (chest on stand), circa 1690.
William and Mary kingwood oyster table box, (chest on stand), circa 1690.
William and Mary kingwood oyster table box, (chest on stand), circa 1690.
William and Mary kingwood oyster table box, (chest on stand), circa 1690.
William and Mary kingwood oyster table box, (chest on stand), circa 1690.
William and Mary kingwood oyster table box, (chest on stand), circa 1690.
William and Mary kingwood oyster table box, (chest on stand), circa 1690.
William and Mary kingwood oyster table box, (chest on stand), circa 1690.

Attributed to THOMAS PISTOR (worked from c.1690)

William and Mary kingwood oyster table box, (chest on stand), circa 1690.

1690 England

Offered by Alexander George Fine Antiques Ltd

£13,600 gbp
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Extremely rare & elegant William and Mary Kingwood or ‘princes wood' oyster table box, circa 1690.

The chest is veneered in a meddely of oyster roundels and spandrels of kingwood, further banded in kingwood elegantly raised on rosewood spiral turned legs, a wavy kingwood veneered stretcher, sitting on solid rosewood bun feet. The interior of the lidded box is lined with vibrant scarlet silk velvet, as are both drawers.

Kingwood was almost exclusively used for inlays on very fine furniture. It was the most expensive wood in use for furniture making in the 17th century, at which time it was known as princes wood.
Period, later handles and escutcheons. Later spiral turned legs, wavy stretcher and bun feet.
Provenance: Private collection, Dorchester, England
The attribution to the London cabinet-maker 'Thomas Pistor' is based on a group of pieces identified and previously with W.R. Harvey including two kingwood cabinets and a desk to which the table box offered here is clearly part of the same group.
There were in fact two cabinet-makers called Thomas Pistor, father and son, working for a period at the same time but at different premises. One or both are known to have made furniture of quality for Levens Hall.
From the 4-18 August 1950 Country Life ran a series of
articles featuring what was then the recently rebuilt
Buxted Park, a house reconstructed by the architect Basil Lonides following a serious fire and in one of the illustrations a kingwood escritoire is visible. Subsequently Christopher Gilbert commented in The ‘Dictionary of Marked London Furniture’, Leeds, 1996, p.44 that a "highly important kingwood fall-front cabinet inscribed 'Thomas Pistor, Ludgate Hill, London', formerly owned by the Hon. Basil Ionides, unfortunately remains untraced. It was amongst the Buxted Park furniture at Sotheby's, 25 September 1963, lot 168 (withdrawn)...". The whereabouts of this escritoire remain unknown and further details of how the pieces are marked remain uncertain.
The overall profile and proportions of the Buxted escritoire conforms to that of the tablebox offered here and the W. R. Harvey cabinets as does the pattern of oysters visible on the frieze, and there is a strikingly similar large radiating circular pattern. It is undoubtedly the same maker responsible for the table-box offered here and for the two W.R. Harvey cabinets.

There is an olive oyster example illustrated in ‘Woods In British Furniture Making 1400-1900’, by Adam Bowett, page 174, private collection.
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Alexander George Fine Antiques Ltd

Alexander George Fine Antiques Ltd
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Oxfordshire
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England

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