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1930S Decorative English Japanned Chest Of Drawers

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Item Description

An Exceptionally Decorative 1930s English Japanned Chest of Drawers of Unusual Pale Blue Colour.

This piece is clearly inspired by the past. The gilt brass hardware employed throughout is of excellent quality. Consisting of two short and three long drawers and standing on an elaborately shaped frieze and bracket base, this chest relies on the contrast between the wonderful pale blue background and gilt highlights for much of its decorative impact. An unusual feature is the moulding consisting of swagged drapery and bells above the drawer fronts. The gilt cockbeadings to each drawer act as frames for the decoration. In japanning, the most common form of decoration is flat essentially just painting. The most desirable decoration features raised areas and the higher the relief and the greater the variety of depth the better. This piece is well executed with areas of varying relief. The scenes chosen to be depicted here show people in magical landscapes with pagodas, palaces, bridges and islands. One figure flies a kite and another carries a parasol or umbrella. It is also notable that the top and both sides are also highly decorated. The beautiful pale blue background is such an important aspect of the piece's decorative appeal. This is not a colour that is usually encountered in 18th century japanning though it is sometimes seen in Chinese wallpaper exported to the west in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. This wallpaper also enjoyed a revival in popularity in the 1920s and 30s and the great decorator John Fowler began his career as a decorative painter on the Kings Road painting reproductions of this wallpaper for clients. It is likely that this wonderful chest was created by a similar design studio at the time for a client wanting a flavour of the orient in the home. The decoration has survived in excellent condition and this is a piece that will continue to delight for many years to come.

Item Info

Seller Location

Husbands Bosworth, Leicestershire, Leicestershire

Item Dimensions

H: 107cm W: 107cm D: 54cm


First quarter 20th Century

Item Location

United Kingdom

Seller Location

Husbands Bosworth, Leicestershire, Leicestershire

Item Location

United Kingdom

Seller Contact No

+44 (0)1858 882005

+44 (0)7811 127428