A Decorative Victorian Scumbled Pine Pillar Chest Of Three Drawers c.1870


Origin: English
Period: Mid-Victorian
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1870
Width: 22.5”
Depth: 19”
Height: 34.25” (all at top)

The very decorative three drawer chest of good size, having an oversailing rectangular top over three deep drawers with later Victorian black pressed metal cup handles, the whole retaining the original faux-grained scumbled painted decoration in in treacle chocolate brown, the whole surviving from the third quarter of the nineteenth century.

The chest is in good overall order. The finish is very pleasing with a prominent overall patination of craquelure and there are no losses. She stands well and stable and the drawer moves freely. There are two runner lines to one side to suggest it was once one side of a larger piece of furniture such as a pedestal for a sideboard, these have been later filled in, with one of them having a small amount of loss. The handles are late nineteenth to early twentieth century.

One of the uses of painting in furniture was to imitate more exotic and expensive wood grains buy painting and applying them to more accessible woods such as pine. Faux bois (from the French for false wood) refers to the artistic imitation of wood or wood grains in various media. The craft has roots in the Renaissance with trompe-l'œil. It was probably first crafted with concrete using an iron armature by garden craftsmen in France called "rocailleurs" using common iron materials: rods, barrel bands, and chicken wire.

The high level of patination and surface texture is paramount here; superbly evocative of it’s time spent on earth thus far.