It is the only known japanned piece by Coxed, who was associated with the White Swan Workshops in St Paul’s Churchyard from 1711-18, and was bought by a private European collection at a “mid-five-figure” sum.
Unlike in France, where a strict guild corporation stamped and verified every piece of furniture, maker’s marks on English period pieces are a great rarity. Only six Coxed labels are known.
This is thought to be the earlier of two versions (dating from c.1711-15). Beneath a woodcut of a swan it reads: John Coxed At the Swan in St Pauls Church-Yard London,makes and sells Cabinets, Book-Cases, Chests of Drawers…
During research the dealership discovered that this label had been published in Christopher Gilbert’s seminal Pictorial Dictionary of Marked London Furniture, 1700-1840 but identified as belonging to a walnut piece in Temple Newsam – an error repeated in later publications.
The 3ft 2in (96cm) high cabinet, that came from a private London collection, retains its original chased escutcheon and key. The japanning may be the work of fellow cabinetmaker John Belchier, whose work in St Paul’s Churchyard is recorded from 1717.
In accordance with his will, when Coxed died in December 1718, the White Swan business was continued by his wife Grace and his brother-in-law Thomas Woster until 1735. The firm of G Coxed and T Woster continued to label its furniture.
Until recently nine labelled pieces from this partnership were known but the appearance of a marked burr maple secretaire chest and cabinet c.1720 at auction in Bedford in 2016 was followed by the discovery of its pair in a collection in Oregon on the US west coast.
The two pieces from opposite sides of the Atlantic, that bring the number of labelled pieces of Coxed and Woster furniture to 11, have recently been reunited by Alexander George Fine Antiques.
The pair is now available for a six-figure sum.