England 1720-25



The fine dense timbers with rich color and patination,
the rectangular caddy top over two short and three long graduated long drawers,
each having a molded front set with original small closed batwing brasses,
the whole raised on bracket feet; the woods are solid, not veneered,
adding to the wonderful weight of the chest  


This is a rare and early chest employing padouk (padauk) woods from the Indies. 
Padouk wood is a very dense, heavy and fine grained wood closely resembling Cuban (Jamaican) mahoganies. 
The main difference is in the vibrancy of the rich reddish orange color,
which ranges to purples and blacks in the shadows.


Excerpted from Adam Bowett's Woods in British Furniture Making 1400-1900, regarding Padouk :
"Padouk was known as early as 1670, in Evelyn's Sylva. Pterocarpus is the genus.
Evelyn writes, "....brought from both the Indies as one of the red woods used by 'inlayers'....".
Thus it was imported specifically for furniture making, and valued for its red color. 
It appears, to a limited extent, on joined chests of drawers and other furniture of c. 1650-70,
either as veneers or as applied moldings and bosses. 
As the East India trade expanded during the early part of the 18th c.
It became available in increasing quantities, but the amounts never rivaled bulk timbers like mahogany.
Main periods of importation were 1726-40 and 1750-66.  East India officers were allowed to bring in private trade as well." 

  Tariffs on "imported woods" remained excessively high until the Naval Stores Act of 1721
made importation and commercial use possible. Prior to this event,
very few pieces of imported woods, including mahogany and padouk,
had been used for furniture, simply due to the great expense.


The construction on the drawers of this chest is one that, also according to Adam Bowett, was obsolete by about 1720.


Provenance : With Paul Coutts, London & Edinburgh, retaining 1989 Bill of Sale


Condition : Excellent with early surfaces and original brasses; nicks and scratches appropriate to almost 300 years of use


36” High x 36” Wide x 20” Deep






Please Inquire









Drawer interior, showing original lock and brasses



Drawer backside, showing thick dovetails




Drawer Verso










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M. Ford Creech Antiques & Fine Arts / 581 South Perkins Road /  Memphis, TN 38117 / USA /  Wed.-Sat. 11-6, or by appointment




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Fine and Rare George I Early Cuban Mahogany Chest of Drawers, England, c1720-1725