The Summer Country House Sale - 27th June 2017 - 10:00am
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Lot 500

An oak aumbry or dole cupboard

Hammer Price £65,000

An oak aumbry or dole cupboard,

English, early 16th century, with two doors, the upper door with iron 'H' hinges and two traceried openings, between two pairs of similar openings, the whole of pegged plank construction, initialled 'TM' twice,

109cm wide

42cm deep

110cm high


A rare survivor, this type of cupboard developed from a 13th century storage press or safe. Also referred to as livery, food and dole cupboards, the latter indicating its use as an outside receptacle for leftover food for the poor of the parish.


Examples can be seen at Haddon Hall and Tamworth Castle. Also the Metropolitan Museum of Art.


Literature: Herbert Cescinsky and Ernest Gribble, 'Early English Furniture and Woodwork Vol.II', London, 1922, p.26, fig.37;
Victor Chinnery, 'Antique Collecting', September 1976, pp. 416;
Percy Macquoid and Ralph Edwards, 'Dictionary of English Furniture', Country Life 1924-7, 2nd rev. ed. 1954, Cupboards, Food p.185 fig. 4;
Charles Tracy, 'English Medieval Furniture and Woodwork', London, 1988, cat. 315.


Estimate: £5,000 - £7,000

Close Condition Report

Lock missing, possibly reduced in height? Mostly original, replaced 'H' hinges, split to top door on right, two later swivel door catches.




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