Inlaid Welsh oak Coffor bach
A wonderful early 18th century inlaid Welsh oak Coffor bach (small coffer).
A hinged lid above three elaborately raised panels and each panel is inlaid with a star motif which is made from contrasting oak, holly and bog-oak. The two small drawers are similarly inlaid. Original brass escutcheon.
Made from well figured oak with lovely rich colour.
Old replacements include the hinges, bracket feet and there is wear to the top of the lid.
West Wales circa 1720-40
28” wide x 15” deep x 18” high / 71cm wide x 38cm deep x 45.7cm high
The coffor bach seems to have been peculiar to Wales. Often thought to have been given as a love token or wedding gift, the coffor bach was often a piece which had great sentiment having been handed down through families.
See: Welsh Furniture by L.Twiston-Davis & H.J.Lloyd-Johnes, University of Wales Press. Page 11, Bible Box – The Bible box, sometimes called prenfol, prembol, or phennol, is a small edition of the mule chest, and in many parts of South Wales is still called “y coffer bach” or the little coffer. These charming pieces, which are usually made in oak or elm, are associated chiefly with the south-western counties of the Principality. The type which occurs most frequently dates from the second half of the eighteenth century, has a panelled front, and is fitted with one or two drawers. These Bible boxes are sometimes inlaid with holly, and an example from the district of Llandeilo, Carmarthenshire, examined recently was found to be fitted with wooden lock-hinges, while the single drawer was secured with a wooden lock-pin….The “coffer-bach” is peculiar to Wales and differs considerably from the better-known English Bible box. In old days the Bible was possibly the only book in the home, and great care was taken to house it suitably, while the drawers below were used for keeping legal and family papers. It should be said that there is a certain tradition that these small coffers were “love chests” and , filled with fine linen, were part of a brides dowry. Whatever their original use may have been they remain one of the most attractive articles of Welsh domestic furniture.