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Early 19th century Scottish, William IV period

Sabicu wood Block-Front Chest

with turned & inlaid horn knobs


A superbly figured early 19th century Scottish chest of drawers, of highly unusual 'Block-Front' form

associated with and possibly by the firm of

William Trotter of Edinburgh
circa 1830


Three inverted and recessed-front deep drawers of block-front form surmounted by a single shallow top drawer frieze. Each of the three deep drawers carved and cock-beaded to the inverted front out of a single piece of thick West Indian sabicu wood. The top moulded out of a single highly figured plank with stepped ogee edge.


Materials: Sabicu wood solids & veneers, turned and stained green horn (Highland cattle) knobs, mother-of-pearl, secondary woods in pine and ash, brass Bramah locks.

The original Bramah brass locking mechanisms on each of the five drawers are stamped with the cipher of WR

for William IV (1830-37).

The Bramah lock was created in 1784 by Joseph Bramah. The lock employed the first known high-security design. The Bramah lock was famed for it's resistance to lock picking and tampering, and the company had a "challenge lock" displayed in the window of their London shop at 124 Piccadilly, from 1790.


The "challenge lock" was mounted on a board containing the description:

"The artist who can make an instrument that will pick or open this lock shall receive 200 guineas the moment it is produced."

The challenge stood for over 67 years.

An early 19th C Scottish William IV period Sabicu wood block-front chest, c1830



    Phone:  416-666-6295


    This highly unusual piece showcases exceptional quality of materials and workmanship, evident in the massive slabs of sabicu wood (called 'horse-flesh mahogany'). Block Front chests are extremely rare in British furniture design.


    Another outstanding feature is found in the exceptionally fine green horn knobs made of turned & dyed Highland cattle horn, and inlaid with mother-of-pearl sunbursts. The knobs are attached to integral screws, and have removable turned horn collars.


    This was an extraordinary process to have achieve two centuries ago, and equally remarkable that all six knobs have remained in pristine condition.

  • Please contact Dealer for more information


    Phone:  416-666-6295



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