Robin Nance Arts & Crafts Cotswold School Dressing Chest


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An Arts & Crafts Cotswold School Fishtail Oak Dressing Chest by Robin Nance. A very striking item with numerous subtle decorative details such as rounded through dovetails and exposed tenons, featuring:
  • 2 small drawers over 2 short and one long drawer (all made with single plank fronts, solid drawer carcasses joined with hand-cut lap and through dovetails)
  • Constructed using true cabinet making techniques such as traditional wedged through tenon and rounded through dovetails
  • Handmade walnut handles
  • Circular adjustable mirror


Approximate dimensions:
  • overall width 101 cm (3 feet 3 and three quarters inches)
  • overall depth 40 cm (1 foot 3 and three quarters inches)
  • overall height 120 cm (3 feet 11 and a quarter inches)
  • base height 63 cm (2 feet and three quarters)
If you need a very exact dimension, or one we haven't included, feel free to contact us and we will measure it for you


Very typical of Nance's designs (very much showing his joint heritage with Stanley Webb Davies). For a matching design see Dreweatts 1759 Modern Design auction 15 Oct 2019 lot 102


Very good sound condition with smoothly sliding drawers tight joints, excellent colour. If you wish to have further specific photographs or talk to us for a more detailed condition report then please do not hesitate to contact us

About Robin Nance

Robin Nance: Robin Nance trained from 1924 under the Arts & Crafts master cabinet maker Arthur Romney Green (alongside Eric Sharpe and Stanley Webb Davies) and later set up his own Cotswold School inspired furniture workshop in St Ives in Cornwall during 1933. After the war he was joined by his brother Dicon (who made the ladder back chairs designed by Ernest Gimson), and their furniture was retailed in the Nance crafts shop in Fore Street and then on the Wharf in St Ives. His furniture received widespread acclaim and recognition gaining various awards including commendation at the Festival of Britain in 1951.  Robin closed his business in 1972.Both brothers were important figures in the world renowned St Ives Art Movement and in 1949 were two of the 19 founder members of the Penwith Society of Arts which included Bernard Leach and Barbara Hepworth. Dicon was a highly skilled woodworker and specialist chairmaker. He worked closely with Barbara Hepworth, being responsible for interpreting her sketches into finished sculptures. He was also the designer of the Leach Pottery wheel which became the standard English potter's wheel

About Oak

Oak: The most British of woods, that can produce really special results. Oak has been used for hundreds of years to construct everything from sea-going vessels to fine furniture. Quarter sawn boards are very straight grained and have distinctive growth rings and medullary rays that give a very beautiful effect as well as being renowned for their superior stability and strength

About Arts & Crafts Cotswold School Furniture

The Cotswold School was a development of the Arts and Craft Movement started largely by Ernest Gimson and the brothers Sidney and Ernest Barnsley. The furniture is instantly recognisable with its simple lines, attention to the finest of details, and use of beautiful materials. Cotswold School designs were crafted from local materials using traditional tools and techniques and with decorative details derived largely from utilitarian elements: exposed joinery, unusual panels, interesting pulls and latches crafted either from wood or from metal using traditional smithing techniques, and close attention to form as well as to wood grain and pattern. Where decorative details were added they generally took the form of traditional embellishment such as exposed joints, chamfered edges and chip carved edge details.The style was embraced and developed by other designers and craftsmen including Gordon Russell, Stanley Webb Davies in Cumbria, Sid Barnsley's son Edward, Arthur Romney Green in Hampshire, Robin Nance in St Ives and Ambrose Heal are a handful of such men out of many. The best developed their own style within the established tradition


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