Exquisite Tunbridgeware Chapel Form Box/Chest


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Very fine early 19th century Tunbridgeware architectural model of a chapel which also serves as a jewelry chest and dressing mirror, the diamond tiled roof in ebony and sycamore, the front with micro-mosaic rose window over Gothic inlaid door with mother of pearl and mixed woods, the door opening to reveal four kingwood drawers with bone knobs, the reverse having identical door revealing a the original beveled mercury glass dressing mirror, the whole expertly worked to an exacting standard. Tunbridge ware is a form of decoratively inlaid woodwork, typically in the form of boxes, that is characteristic of Tonbridge and the spa town of Royal Tunbridge Wells in Kent in the 18th and 19th centuries. The decoration typically consists of a mosaic of many very small pieces of different colored woods that form a pictorial vignette. Shaped rods and slivers of wood were first carefully glued together, then cut into many thin slices of identical pictorial veneer with a fine saw. Elaborately striped and feathered bandings for framing were pre-formed in a similar fashion. There is a collection of Tunbridge ware in the Tunbridge Wells Museum and Art Gallery in Tunbridge Wells.[1 While Tunbridge ware boxes and small objects were made on a fairly large (but still cottage industry) scale, items of this quality and form are rarely seen and could indicate a one off specialty commission.

Mother-of-Pearl, Ebony, Mahogany, Sycamore, Walnut

very good antique condition

Height 28 inches
Width 10.5 inches
Depth 13 inches