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  • Place of origin:

    Germany (Probably Westphalia or Hanover, made)

  • Date:

    1500-1600 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Oak, boarded, tracery

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Mr. Frank Green, FSA

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    On display at Oakwell Hall, West Yorkshire

On loan to Oakwell Hall.

Physical description

Carved oak. The centre of the front is occupied by two hinged doors, one pierced with a rectangular panel of tracery and the other with a circular nose.
The doors are bound by four long iron hinges each terminating in a rosette. At the top is a battlemented moulding. Inside ar marks of shelves, which are now missing.

15th June 2005
Notes from Loan visit to Oakwell Hall:

The main timbers about 3cm thick.

No base or feet as such.
Ostensibly held together with very large hand-made nails, modern nails and traces (PR rear) of metal angle reinforcers.
The hinges old and hand-made but more solid than you'd expect.
All kinds of ironmongery added inside doors.
Report of carving added to doors - carvings themselves unconvincing.
Very unusual vertical mouldings down front stiles/legs - Germanic?
Castellated top rail - Germanic?
Lots of exp worm on PR side (could be reused table top).
Lots of newish nails all over it.
Back and PL side and PL front stile of more degraded oak planks than top and PR side and PR stile.

The interior corners reinforced with pine battens on modern nails.
At one point fitted with 3 shelves (missing).

Summary: Suspicious. Could be German perhaps with nasty alterations. If English then more likely to be a lash-up with old and distressed timbers.

Place of Origin

Germany (Probably Westphalia or Hanover, made)


1500-1600 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Oak, boarded, tracery


Height: 158 cm, Width: 83 cm, Depth: 46.5 cm

Object history note

Taken from dept file:
'Said to have come from Shipton between Halifax and Bradford, Yorkshire. Circ. MN 36608.

There is no such provenance named in the R.P. Gazzetters give no SHIPTON between Halifax and Bradford; SKIPTON is now very near.

Mrs. S. Wolsey has a photograph of this object it its original condition. The two doors are plain without any piercing - the latter having been added, presumably in the 20th century, to add interest and value to the piece. According to Wolsey, the cupboard is of German origin.

Badly damaged, portions missing. Much worn, split and broken.'

Gift from Frank Green, FSA. Treasurer's House, York.

RP: 13/3702M & 55/2298

Descriptive line

Livery oak cupboard, German 16th century with later tracery c1900, 13/3702M

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Mercer, Eric. The Social History of the Decorative Arts 700-1700. London, 1969, Pl 72.
Roe, Fred. A History of Oak Furniture. (London, 1920), Pl XVIII.
Percy Macquoid and Ralph Edwards, The Dictionary of English Furniture (Country Life 1924-7, 2nd rev. ed. 1954), 3 vols., “Cupboards, Food'', p 185, Fig 5.

'A standing food cupboard without feet, one of a number which survive from this period, probably dates from the end of the reign of Henry VIII. The production of a carpenter working in the expiring Gothic tradition, it is constructed of hewn planks, the doors of the superimposed cupboards in the centre being pierced with tracery of a very degenerate type and secured by long iron hinges with foliated ends.'
CESCINSKY, Herbert & Ernest Gribble: Early English Furniture & Woodwork. Vol. II, pp 25-26, Fig. 36.
'There are later methods visible in many of these pieces, however, such as the scratch-moulding of the upright styles of Fig. 36 for example, which show that mere crudity is no necessary indication of age.'
Herbert Cescinsky, "Post-Dissolution Gothic" in English Furniture, Apollo August 1934 pp.73-9, fig.II and IIA, p.75
Illustrates the same cupboard before pierced ornament was added to the doors, arguing that a plain cupboard from Westphalia or Hanover was unscrupulously altered to make it more marketable, presumably c1900




Furniture; Containers; Medieval and renaissance


Furniture and Woodwork Collection

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