Oak court cupboard

James I carved and inlaid oak court cupboard or buffet sold for £88,000 at Wilkinson’s.

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Specialist oak auction house Wilkinson’s in Doncaster sold the contents of Twyssenden Manor, a Tudor house in 258 acres of land near Goudhurst in Kent, on February 27.

The property had spent much of the 20th century as a youth hostel but was purchased by the late owner – “a successful businessman who, in the late 1990s, decided to abandon his City career in favour of a quieter life in the country” – and fully restored and furnished in period style.

As an estate sale (the house was sold last year), little was known about the earlier provenance of these pieces. However, the owner had clearly been advised by a very capable eye. Auctioneer Sid Wilkinson said that across the entire collection, only a very small percentage of pieces were deemed ‘wrong’.

It made for some spectacular prices. The highest bid came for this early 17th century English carved and inlaid oak court cupboard or buffet. Of good colour and patina, a highly developed decorative scheme included bands of dog-tooth parquetry, carved figural pilasters and Green Man face masks to both the strapwork and the ‘cup and cover’ side posts. It measures 4ft 1in (1.25m) high x 4ft 7in (1.35m) wide.

Estimated at £6000-8000, it took £88,000 from a UK private bidder, a price of just under £110,000 when 20% buyer’s premium was added.