Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.


  • Place of origin:

    England (made)
    Yorkshire (possibly, made)

  • Date:

    1650 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Oak, carved with inlay panel probably of bog oak and holly or poplar

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by Miss E. M. Baker

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    On display at Hexham Old Gaol

Domestic chests were generally used for storing clothing, bedding and linen, and are often recorded near bedchambers or standing at the foot of a bed. Chests of panelled construction with carved fronts, like this one, were comparatively high-status products during the 16th and 17th centuries, being very robust as well as attractively carved with a wide variety of ornament.

On loan to Hexham Old Gaol.

Physical description

Carved oak chest with interlace ? round the front and a lozenge motif on each panel; these are separated by two areas of carved floral motifs enclosing a passage of chequer inlay; the lid is surrounded by a moulded edge.

Oak chest of panelled construction (double-pegged) with carved front, two panels with flattened lozenge pattern and guilloche borders (full description below), with a lidded till at the PR end. The lid formed of two planks, with moulded ends and front edge (and originally with a cleat at each end, missing) and held on two nailed strap hinges (replacements for 3 original wire loop hinges).
The front with two large panels divided by a narrow band of chequer inlay. The upper rail carved with a running band of guilloche extending onto the upper parts of the front legs; the legs and lower rail carved with alternating small/large guilloche, with spiral carved rosettes. Two central muntins (with scratch mouldings) each with 3 stylised rosettes with opposing palmettes between. Each large panel is carved with a flattened lozenge (with a moulded triple border with alternativing star-shaped punch and a curved gouge blade), enclosing a rosette set within four interlaced circles. The back plain (muntins with scratch mouldings). The ends plain, with stopped mouldings on the stiles and rails.
The interior plain, the panels cut with a gentle chamfer.
Four base boards run front to back, held with hand-made nails and bird's mouth joints.
A dark stain overall. The oak appears to be relatively fast growth English.
A ploughed groove runs to the ground on each leg:
PR front - inside face
PR rear - front face
PL front - rear face
PL rear - inside face

Repairs and condition
Generally clean and tidy condition (light wear), but plausible. The feet with reasonable wear but no tipping. The pegs slightly oval and protruding.
The lock replaced but the escutcheon early, and the lock hasp replaced. The front of the till probably replacement. The interior with four modern hooks and a modern ring hasp on the till lid.

Place of Origin

England (made)
Yorkshire (possibly, made)


1650 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Oak, carved with inlay panel probably of bog oak and holly or poplar


Height: 62 cm, Width: 129 cm, Depth: 50.7 cm

Object history note

Bequeathed by Miss Ellen Maud Baker of 23 Copley Park, Streatham SW16, described by W.A.Thorpe as 'In good condition and quite an attractive furnishing piece. A passage of chequer inlay flanked by horizontal diamonds in panels.'
On loan to Ilkley Manor House 61/2393
Inspected at tee Old Gaol, Hexham August 2007

Flattened lozenge, inlay banding and guilloche are found on Yorkshire oak furniture of the 17th century, although the pronounced guilloche is a marked feature of SW (Somerset) furniture.

There is a reference to '358-1961' in an object sampling carried out by Jo Darrah, V&A Science, which may apply to this object; drawer/slide reference 1/43.

Descriptive line

English, 1630-80, oak, 78/2450






Furniture; Household objects


Furniture and Woodwork Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.