A rare Queen Anne chinoiserie japanned chest on stand


A rare early-18th century chinoiserie japanned chest on stand. Circa 1710.

W 99 cm
H 181 cm
D 55 cm

BHA 1267


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A sophisticated Queen Anne-period chinoiserie japanned chest raised on elegant cabriole legs with ‘pony foot’ carved detailing.

This early-18th century chest on stand demonstrates the charming and highly fashionable English domestic interpretation of oriental scenes of pagodas, rockwork, trees, ornamental bridges, mythical birds, and figures dressed in the oriental manner, holding parasols and cavorting in gardens. All in remarkable condition having survived some three hundred years. Chests on cabriole supports of this form were also very much in fashion in the American colonies during this early Queen Anne period (1702-1714). Sometimes erroneously referred to as ‘’lacquer”.

The fashion icon Coco Chanel furnished her exquisite Paris apartments largely in the European chinoiserie taste.


V & A – The development of English black japanning 1620-1820

John Stalker and George Parker published a lengthy manual entitled A Treatise on Japanning and Varnishing, 1688.

A History of Japanning in England: Technique & Decoration

Literature and further reading:

Wallace Nutting, Furniture Treasury (Mostly American Origin), Vols. I & II, Macmillan, New York, 1928, ill. 343; an English example dated 1710-1725, in The Metropolitan Museum.

There are a one or two comparable ‘high chests of drawers’ in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, namely: ”One of the earliest American examples of japanning, this high chest descended in the Pickman family of Boston and Salem.”
And another… ”descended in the Pickman family of Salem, Massachusetts… is an extraordinary survival. The painted decoration on the high chest…” is worth scrutiny.

Boston Japanned Furniture – Colonial Society of Massachusetts:
”The number of forms bearing japanned decoration and made in Boston exceed those of any other area in America.”
Ours on offer here is English, but it is interesting to note rare, comparable, contemporary American pieces.

Herbert Cescinsky, English Furniture Of The Eighteenth Century, George Routledge & Sons, 1911, vol. I; various interesting illustrations.

Queen Anne style furniture – WIKIPEDIA.