A William III arabesque marquetry strong box, c1700, of holly and, probably, rosewood, bound by elaborate brass strapwork secured by flower shaped bosses, the carrying handles and lock original, the interior incorporating concealed compartments and veneered in prince's wood, the veneers obliquely cut on those to the fall front, on affixed giltwood stand of later date, 34cm h; 40 x 63cm (102cm h; 47 x 69cm including stand)
Provenance: Acquired by the late father of the present vendor in the 1970s.
The present high status strong box would have been a costly purchase, the more so if supplied with a matching chest for display in the principal bed chamber of the household. It is of the type of William and Mary 'marketree' furniture associated with the workshop of Gerrit Jensen, Cabinet Maker in ordinary to the Crown. A similar strong box that still retains an equally striking chest of drawers on which it stood is at Lyne Park, Cheshire (see Bowett, Adam - English Furniture 1660-1714, plt 7; 7)
Much old settled dust, the marquetry darkened with age, the ground almost black, the brass mounts covered in an old and now discoloured lacquer but intact, complete and unrestored