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Victorian Ship's Buffet Cabinet, HMS Espiegle Nautical Cupboard, English c.1880

Victorian Ship's Buffet Cabinet, HMS Espiegle Nautical Cupboard, English c.1880


Our Stock # 12.1534

This is a Victorian ship's buffet cabinet from HMS Espiegle. A nautical cupboard, English dating to c.1880 originally gracing the Captain's cabin. (Please see further notes as to the provenance at the foot of the description.) 

  • A fine cabinet constructed in generous, stout stocks of top quality mahogany
  • Good consistent colour, grain interest and a desirable aged patina
  • The rear of the cabinet displaying hand hewn fitting marks
  • Raised on a continuous plinth base with rounded corners, inset with carved delineation to the stiles
  • A pair of dome top, field panel doors close with an integral dust strip
  • Inside left, a pair of deep wine & sprit drawers dressed with flush brass, campaign handles
  • Inside right a single shelf divides the space in two, a deep lip at the front to stop items falling forward at sea
  • Above, two drawers feature pairs of quality, floral pressed, brass pulls
  • Brass keyhole liners front the Whitaker of Wolverhampton locks, each stamped with the Admiralty broad arrow.
  • The top displaying well with rounded edge detail

A super cabinet steeped in history. Solid joints and construction, delivered waxed, polished and ready for the home.

Max Width: 109.25cm (43'')
Max Depth: 51cm (20'')
Max Height: 89cm (35'')

More about the Naval history of the cabinet

Originally commissioned for the Captain's cabin of HMS Espiegle.

HMS Espiegle (mischievous / playful);

  • A Dotterel class composite (wooden planks on iron frame) sloop launched Devonport 1880
  • 1130 tons at 170ft x 36' beam x 15'9 draft
  • Single propeller driven by 1020hp steam engine achieving 11 knots. Also three masted barque rig.
  • Crew of 140 - 150
  • Two 7" rifled guns of 90cwt plus four 64lb muzzle loaders

Later at Australian Pacific Station 1881-85. China Station thereafter. Paid off Devonport 1891.

Amongst the evidence supporting this are:
i) The hand-written pencil marks beneath one of the drawers reading ' Capt buffet no 2  Espiegle' and more faintly 'HMS Espiegle Captain's Buffet'.
ii) Original lock brass stamped 'Whitaker Wolverhampton' alongside the Admiralty broad arrow.
iii) Door catch also stamped with Admiralty broad arrow
iv) Grooving to back of cabinet synonymous with custom fitting to iron framed ships
v) Construction, joints, rounded corners and lipped shelves typical of traditional naval dockyard cabinetry

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