This Tea Chest is artfully veneered in acombination of woods, which mutually enhance the figure and colour ofeach other. The striations of the harewood emphasise the dots of theyew and the crossbanding imposes an extra control which strengthens the whole composition.
The interior of the Chest has two lift-out liddedcanisters with sliding lids. This is most unusual in a box of such high quality.Lift-out canisters, especially as intricate and complex as the outerbox, were usually made for chests with central expensive crystalbowls. This is because the commissioning clients were rich and wouldhave wanted to show that they could afford the extra luxury of thecrystal. So why was this exceptionally well made chest made withoutspace for the bowl? The most likely reason is that it was commissionedby a well to do client of impeccable taste, who also had a conscience.By the late 18th century the anti-slavery movement wasbeginning to infiltrate even the highest echelons of society andpeople of wanted to make a point of not using sugar, which came fromthe slave plantations.
- parquetry of harewood , burr yew, and kingwood on a mahogany carcass.
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