A set of twelve Elizabethan polychrome decorated sycamore roundels, late 16th/early 17th century
Property of a Gentleman
A set of twelve Elizabethan polychrome decorated sycamore roundels
late 16th/early 17th century
contained in a turned beech box, each roundel centred by a verse within an gilt and foliate decorated border, the box with traces of painted decoration and with paper label to underside 'L/44/37'
each roundel 16cm. diameter; 6 1/2 in.
An atmospheric object in overall reasonable condition consistent with age and use. The lid of the turned box has warped preventing it from sitting flush with the lower part of the box when closed. The box retains traces of the original polychrome decoration and has some minor old wood worm which is no longer active. The roundels themselves show typical signs of wear with rubbing to edges and losses to painted and gilt decoration. That being said, they are generally in good order given their age and the vivid colours and decoration have been well-preserved. Further images are available from the department.
The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colors and shades which are different to the lot's actual color and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation. The condition report is a statement of opinion only. For that reason, the condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE/BUSINESS APPLICABLE TO THE RESPECTIVE SALE.
It is believed that roundels of this type were used as a form of entertainment in that they were placed before each guest at the end of a banquet with the plain side upwards and were used for cheese or confections. After Grace they were reversed and each verse sung or recited by the guests in turn as roundelays to the accompaniment of a lute.
A similar example can be seen illustrated in Edward H. Pinto, Treen or Small Woodware Throughout the Ages, 1949 Edition, pl. 5. Other examples can be seen in Owen Evan Thomas, Domestic Utensils of Wood XVI to XIXth Century, EP Publishing Ltd., 1976, pp. 63-67, pls.24 & 25 and Jonathan Levi, Treen for the Table, Antique Collector`s Club, 1998, pp.132-137, pls. 10/1-10/8.
A closely related set, from the The W. J. Shepherd Collection of Treen sold Sotheby's London, 30 November 1983, lot 770 and subsequently Sotheby's London, Important English Furniture, 6 June 2006, lot 228.