The ‘period’ piece, a 2ft 4in (70cm) wide Henry VIII oak boarded chest, c.1530, came for sale at The Oak Interior sale at Bishop & Miller (22% buyer’s premium) in Stowmarket, Suffolk, from the collection of the late Chris Pickvance, a former chairman of the Regional Furniture Society.
Possibly made in Suffolk or Norfolk, a handful of similar chests with cross-hatched decoration are known including a larger example discovered in the Solent silt in the wreck of the Mary Rose.
A classic ‘collector’s’ piece of vernacular furniture, it sold within estimate at £4400 on May 26.
The ostensibly similar 3ft 2in (95cm) chest offered by Piers Motley (18% buyer’s premium) in Exmouth, Devon, on June 7 was Yorkshire-made.
The adzed oak top and sides were simply joined with handmade rose head nails. To one corner of the lid was a scroll, to the other a mouse.
These Mouseman pieces from the 1920s-30s made during the tenure of founder Robert Thompson have a distinctive appearance and after close to a century of use and oxidisation have acquired the patina of age.
A similar oak blanket chest dated 1929 sold for £12,000 at Sheffield Auction Gallery in March. This example took £6200 (estimate £300-500).