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Chest front

  • Place of origin:

    Northern Italy (made)

  • Date:

    1450-1499 (made)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Cypress(?), carved and incised

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Physical description

Panel, being the front of a chest cut with 14 dovetails at both ends. With a plain central rectangular panel, surrounded on all four sides by a wide border (within beaded edges) of shallow relief carving against a punched background, depicting scrolling foliage among which appear an ape with a shield (at left and right), and: dogs hunting hares (upper frieze), along the lower band (from left) a gentleman, griffin, leopard, lion, shield, lion, dragon, leopard, lady. Above the lower border are two small engraved details of a dog and a rabbit. Below the bottom edge are 8 stump turnings, arranged x6 singly and two pairs. At the ends (running vertically) are a series of narrow ruled lines with diagonally shaded portions. Note that there is no clear evidence of wax infill or paint.

Along the top edge of the chest front is rhomboid punching.

With it is an iron key (broken) with a perforated circular bow.

Formed from one wide and 3 narrow boards (with some added modern screws). The bottom edge formed by a thicker board cut with three mortises for the chest bottom supports running front to back. Just above this the narrow batten has the remains of wooden pegs to locate the front to the chest bottom. The back with three modern battens screwed along the sides and top.

Place of Origin

Northern Italy (made)


1450-1499 (made)

Materials and Techniques

Cypress(?), carved and incised


Height: 63 cm, Width: 204.5 cm, Thickness: 3.7 cm

Object history note

Bought for £5 . 5.. 0. from J.H. Pollen (Mr R.A. Thompson's memo on Stores agenda 2070/1889).
The key 130a-1889 was 'originally given to Circulation'

Descriptive line

Coffer front, cypress wood with relief carvings, the iron key is broken and has a perforated circular bow, Italian, 1450-1499


Furniture; Containers; Renaissance (Italian); Medieval and renaissance


Furniture and Woodwork Collection

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