An extremely rare Henry VIII oak 'counter table' chest, circa 1540

An extremely rare Henry VIII oak 'counter table' chest, circa 1540



Having a hinged triple-boarded top with ovolo-moulded edge, the front with three parchemin-carved panels each with addorsed trilobe, above and ogee-profiled rail, centred by a carved cross and each undulation filled with a stylised-leaf, each side with two linenfold and cross carved panels, on run-moulded stile supports.

This type of chest is often referred to as a counter table, to describe a table with the top marked out with a series of lines and squares to assist with calculating accounts. Alternatively, a marked cloth could be used. For three comparable examples see the Burrell Collection, Glasgow, all with parchemin panels, [Museum Nos. 14.358, 14:354 & 14,352], with one also carved with the arms of Scarborough and Ghisburn, Yorkshire. A counter table with linenfold-carved panels, is in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum [Museum No. W.49-1952].

For related illustrated tables see R. W. Symonds, 'The Counter Board', The Connoisseur, December 1951, p. 174, No. XII; Ralph Edwards, The Dictionary of English Furniture (1990), Vol. II, p. 147, fig. 3 and sold Sotheby's The Peter Gywnn Collection, London, 27th November 2001, Lot 3; S. W. Wolsey & R. W. Luff, Furniture in England: The Age of the Joiner (1968), pl. 122 and Victor Chinnery, Oak Furniture: The British Tradition (2016), p. 242, figs. 3:155 & 3:156.

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Height 57 cm / 22 "
Width 91 cm / 36"
Depth 58.5 cm / 23 "