William and Mary Kingwood or ‘Princes’ wood oyster cabinet on chest
circa 1690. England
Attribution: Thomas Pistor
When the most expensive timber of the 17th century met Thomas Pistor…
There were in fact, two cabinet-makers called Thomas Pistor, father and son, working for a period at the same time but different premises. One or both are known to have made furniture of quality for Levens Hall.
From the 4-18 August 1950 Country Life ran a series of articles featuring what was then the recently rebuilt Buxted Park, a house reconstructed by the architect Basil Lonides following a serious fire and in one of the illustrations a kingwood escritoire is visible. Subsequently, Christopher Gilbert commented in ‘The Dictionary of Marked London Furniture’, Leeds, 1996, p.44 that a “highly important kingwood fall-front cabinet inscribed ‘Thomas Pistor, Ludgate Hill, London’, formerly owned by the Hon. Basil Ionides, unfortunately, remains untraced. It was amongst the Buxted Park furniture at Sotheby’s, 25 September 1963, lot 168 (withdrawn)…”. The whereabouts of this escritoire remain unknown and further details of how the pieces are marked remain uncertain.
The overall profile and proportions of the Buxted escritoire conform to that of this cabinet on chest and the ‘W. R. Harvey’ cabinets as does the pattern of oysters.