Arabesque marquetry strong box or coffre-fort, £30,000 at Mellors & Kirk.

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The Flemish-born cabinetmaker was working in St Martin’s Lane, London, from 1680 until his death in c.1705. 

However, as ‘Cabinet maker in Ordinary to the Crown’, Jensen’s name appears frequently in the royal accounts of the William and Mary period.

His workshop is the only one during this period known to have used metal inlays and elaborate ‘seaweed’ or ‘arabesque’ marquetry. Accordingly, his name is often linked with pieces such as this arabesque marquetry strong box or coffre-fort offered for sale by Mellors & Kirk (24% buyer’s premium) in Nottingham on November 8.

Made in holly and, probably, rosewood and bound by elaborate brass strapwork, the interior included a series of compartments veneered in prince’s wood.

These pieces, which would have been a costly purchase at the time (they were often sold with matching chests of drawers), are variously dated to the end of the reign of Charles II and the William III period. Jensen delivered one in walnut to Colonel James Graham of Levens Hall, Cumbria, in 1688.

This example, on a giltwood stand of later date, was acquired by the owner’s father in the 1970s. Estimated at £4000-6000, it made a substantial £30,000.