A beautiful solid oak early English press cupboard made by hand in around 1660-1670 and in superior original condition.
61.5 inches high overall and base section to flat shelf
surface is 40.5 inches high, 58 inches wide and 22 inches deep.
cupboard section lifts off base for transport.
For metric, please multiply each inch by 2.5
The upper section with two small doors, heavily oak framed and pegged with extremely deep hand hewn and chamfered oak fielded panels. The muntins and stiles with channel carved and fluted detail and both doors with 17th century iron locks and working keys. The doors open and close smoothly with no warps or wobbles. Each has a very substantial oak planked base and a narrow finely hand hewn oak shelf at the back. The cupboards are individual with oak planked dividing wall. The strapwork carved frieze of interlaced circles with radiating spokes is beautifully executed, complete and original. If you run your hand along the back face of this frieze you can still feel the waved surface of the wood from the hand held tools of the day. The top of the press is twin planked and pegged and the planks have developed an attractive slight smile with age and natural movement.
The whole press including these top planks has a fantastic rich colour, a natural deep sheen and smooth aged feel from centuries of use, wax and care.
The upper section lifts off the base for transport and is supported on two deeply fluted and turned columns. The base cupoard doors and side panels are fielded also and carry the same carved and ribbed details to the stiles and muntins. These open and close smoothly and properly and enclose a single large cupboard with thickly planked oak base and fixed planked original shelf. The amount of oak used in the construction is quite staggering and the lovely deep colour and luminescense is evident everywhere - even on the inner shelf. The frieze of the base is carved with arcades interspersed with punched circles reflecting the circles to the upper frieze. Hinges are iron and are later replacements but appear hand cast and have been on the press for a very long time. There are three original hand made dark iron backplates with lobed drop handles and one lower door has a later backplate with lobed drop handle. It is possible to have a matching iron backplate made by our blacksmith if required but the replaced backplate is not particularly noticeable and is part of the cupboard's history.
Extremely heavy and robust, the whole back is planked in oak also and the colour and construction further demonstrates that the top and base were made together and have remained together all of their lives.
Condition: Minor bruises and dents which form the lovely patina and are part of the history. A one by one inch chip to the right side frame just under the top plank at the furthest corner (which goes against the wall) and not significant. One old oak shim/repair to the top planks which is well blended. A few old worm holes as you'd expect but long since treated and dead and none to the facing timbers. Glorious rich colour and superb flashes showing on this quarter cut oak. .
A beautiful, useable and original press cupboard made in the decade after the death of Oliver Cromwell and the restoration of King Charles II to the throne of England - if only it could talk!