New home for 300-year-old Colne chest

mule chest

mule chest

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THIS oak mule chest was made in Colne more than 300 years ago - and has just been bought by a member of a Nelson family living in Herefordshire.

Mr Mike Pollitt sent us details of the impressive piece, dating from the time when King William III was on the throne, from his home in Leominster.

The piece was commissioned by John Wainehouse, whose name is carved on the top rail, at a price of £5 5s (£5.25) and remained in his family until it was auctioned in October, 1969 at Christies, London.

Mr Pollitt said: “It is exceptionally rare for the place, date and cost of a piece of early vernacular furniture to be known 300 years after it was made.

“John Wainehouse must have been a man of substance who almost certainly would have lived in Colne or one of the nearby parishes. A wainhouse was what is known now as a cart shed. Could John have been a carter or perhaps a yeoman farmer?

“The quality of the chest, both its construction and its decoration, is very fine. The standard of the carving suggests this work was carried out by a specialist and not the joiner.”

Mr Pollitt asks any member of the Wainehouse family, or who remembers seeing the piece prior to its sale at Christies, to contact him at Chapel Farm, Wigmore, Leominster HR6 9UQ (tel.01568 770608)

“This lovely chest will remain in our family and will not be put up for sale again, nor will any so-called ‘improvements’ be undertaken. Our role is a simple one - to be careful custodians,” he said.