Items of this style are dated by various authors from the late 16th – late 17th century. Believed to be North Italian, c1580, this table cabinet is decorated with inlay in the style of the so called Nonsuch Chest. This decoration included architectural representations of buildings and floral themes. Chests of this medium were mainly Continental (particularly German although some were made in the United Kingdom). The name may have come from depictions of the Palace of Nonsuch at Cheam in Surrey, built by Henry VIII. This small table cabinet has typical decoration with original iron metalwork. There is a compartment at the top with two false drawers (this space is thought to have been for the storage of candles), a lower section with central space with lockable door above a drawer as well as several shelves (which may possibly at one time have held drawers). For the detail of the inlays and marquetry, please see the images. The condition is very good for age although there are a few fine cracks and one door closes at a slightly higher level than the other. The back lower panel gaps slightly from the chest and a small section of the corner ironwork is absent at the back. Despite these minor flaws, this is a remarkably rare and special box which would grace any collection. Length 8.5 ins (21.5cm), width 13.75 ins (35cm), depth 10.24 ins (26cm). Weight 3495 grams. This item appears in my book, “Antique Boxes, Inside and Out” on page 53.
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