Queen Anne period "Burr Mulberry" bureau bookcase attributed to John Coxed


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Object Description

An extremely fine and rare Queen Anne period “Burr Mulberry” bureau bookcase attributed to John Coxed with rosewood cross bandings and mouldings as well as pewter stringing. The deep cavetto cornice above 2 mirrored doors to the upper part enclosing adjustable shelves and having pull out candle slides to the frieze above the bureau flap. This opens to reveal an arrangement of pigeon holes and small concave fronted drawers around a central arched door behind a locking well slide. On the outside the well is flanked by a small drawer to each side above two half width and two full width drawers and the whole is raised on flat bun feet.

Object History

Attribution: From Ca. 1711 to Ca. 1797 the White Swan workshop on the south side of St. Paul’s Churchyard in London was continuously occupied by successive generations of cabinet-makers who identified their works with paper labels. Several examples by John Coxed and Coxed & Woster are recorded and this helps in the attribution of this example. There are a number of quirks to their known works which in combination make this attribution valid. These are the use of what is commonly called Burr Mulberry with Rosewood Mouldings, Crossbanding and lines of pewter inlay. It has more recently been identified that these Mulberry Veneers are in fact stained Maple or Sycamore and indeed in Stalker and Parker’s treatise on japanning a section is given over to producing a tortoiseshell type effect using nitric acid, metal filings and lampblack mixes with linseed oil. As there is a body of labelled pieces by John Coxed (Fl.1711-1718) or indeed his widow Grace Coxed and Thomas Woster (Coxed & Woster Fl. 1719-1735) we have comparisons.
Coxed’s early works have the applied mouldings to retain the mirror plates as in this example and the lack of a surbase moulding to the top of the base complies exactly with his labelled oeuvre. Interestingly, the sliding wooden locks mechanism to secure the well slide as described by Adam Bowett (See below) is featured in this example as well.

Object Literature

Furniture History, The Journal of The Furniture History Society, Vol. XXXIX, 2013 _Labelled furniture from the White Swan workshop_ Adam Bowett & Laurie Lindey pp 71-98.

English Furniture 1660 – 1714 From Charles II to Queen Anne_, Adam Bowett, pp 224-226_The London Furniture Makers, Sir Ambrose Heal_, pp 40-43, Illustrations_ pages 31 & 229-231

Marked London Furniture 1700-1840_ Christopher Gilbert, pp 153-162, illustrations 232-253

Country Life October 2nd. 1969 “The myth of the Mulberry Burr veneer, Edward H Pinto

Object Condition

Excellent. Marks and wear consistent with age and use. Full condition report available upon request.

Object Details

Dealer Opening Times

We are open weekly as follows:

9.30 - 17.30
9.30 - 17.30
9.30 - 17.30
9.30 - 17.30
9.30 - 17.30
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Dealer Contact

+44 (0)1993 706501
+44 (0)7967 649958

Dealer Location

86 Corn Street
OX28 6BU
United Kingdom