A Rare and Remarkable Charles I Oak Refectory Table
The thick three-plank top, retaining the original end cleats, sits on a wonderful base. The front and end rails, carved with elongated “S” curves, whilst the back rail has a simpler “chain” motif. All the carving is embellished with “punch” decoration.
The boldly turned legs are worthy of note. Each varies very slightly, both in diameter and pattern, reminding us that the turner’s skills were “by eye”, rather than mechanical precision. The legs are joined by good stout sectioned stretchers.
The highly unusual and remarkable aspect to the table is the “box” top. The four rails are rebated to take bottom boards, thus forming a shallow compartment, accessed by sliding the top, which has never been fixed to the base. This feature I have only seen once before, on a table, but is more commonly seen in chests of drawers or buffets, which have a lift-up lid to reveal the compartment below.
Wonderful condition, great colour surface and presence.
Gloucestershire, circa 1630-40.
Length 87 inches, depth 29.5 inches, height 31 inches.
Recent provenance – The Grange, Little Plumstead, Norwich, the contents sold by Neals of Nottingham May 1978, then to a private collection near Tunbridge Wells in Kent.