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Exceptional Dated English Oak Press Cupboard with Secrets - 1723

56 inches wide, 23 inches deep and 73 inches high.

For metric please multiply by 2.5
Full Description
This superior quality and very beautiful English oak press cupboard is of tall and slender proportions and is within its 300th anniversary year.

The front panel is carved with the letters M (married) over W:E over I and I – William and Eliza Issacs perhaps, and with the date of marriage 1723. The letters and date still infilled with traces of the original creamy white pigment which would have stood out very boldly when the panel was originally completed.

The form of the press pre-dates the inscription and dates to around 1690 in our view but may have been carved with the initials and date and given as a wedding present to the happy couple.

The colour is beautiful and the patination is exceptional and with original timbers throughout other than one late 18th century replaced backboard. Peg jointed though out and retaining most of the original iron and riveted hinges to the doors, the others are very early hand forged replacements.

It is unusual to find a press cupboard that has secret drawers or compartments and this example has a particularly charming mechanism. The central panel which is carved with the initials and dates can be unlocked and then slid to reveal a set of shelves. It is ingenious and I’ve not seen this mechanism before. The only clue to it is the graduated shallow groove beneath the date which has been made by 300 years of sliding this panel past an original hand forged nail which has gradually created the date underlining now seen.

Exceptionally heavy, solid hand hewn oak throughout, original oak boards inside and a really beautiful solid and sturdy example which even retains its tall stile feet with no re-tipping.

Lovely to find such an original press and one which has not been later carved and embellished to ‘update it’, as was common in the 19th century.

A beautiful and very usable Westmoreland/Lake District example with the distinctive twisted I lettering and shaped drop finials.
Strongly recommended.