Arts and Crafts chest
Nancy Hiller builds a time-tested and versatile chest originally designed by Ernest Gimson.
Synopsis: A good example of the work of the Cotswold school of English Arts and Crafts Design, this chest has elegant lines, through-tenons, and decorative carvings. The unconventional joinery at first gave Nancy Hiller pause, but the vertical-grain sides, which fit into dadoes in the horizontal-grain front and back and are reinforced with pegs, have stood the test of time, not only in the original piece, but in the pieces she has made.
I’ve long been a fan of English designer Ernest Gimson (1864– 1919), who moved from London to the rural Cotswolds region with Sidney and Ernest Barnsley in 1893. Collectively their influential work, which is characterized by sturdy lines, exposed joinery, simple decorative carving, and motifs drawn from rural forms, is the heart of the Cotswold School of Arts and Crafts design.
This chest, or coffer, is a good example of the style. Built of quartersawn oak, it has straightforward…