A fine English housekeepers cabinet or cupboard of oak made by Smart & Brown Ltd of Nottingham from timber reclaimed from Dorothy Vernons' house.
In the Elizabethan style, the cabinet features a moulded top over medium and large doors with applied mouldings - linen folds, quatrefoils, and rosettes - opening to several cupboard space, over geometric bottom drawers, the doors and drawers with iron hardware.
Impressed legend in the interior reads: Made of oak taken from Dorothy Vernons House - By Smart & Brown, Ltd. - Nottingham - 1928 - No. 104
This piece can break down into three parts for ease of transportation.
Smart & Brown a company of cabinet makers in Nottingham, established by Joseph Austin Brown in circa 1870.
Dorothy Vernon (1544 – 24 June 1584), the younger daughter of Sir George Vernon and Margaret nee Talbois (or Tailboys), was the heiress of Haddon Hall, an English country house in Derbyshire with its origins in the 12th century. She married John Manners in 1563. The couple's descendants, the Dukes of Rutland, continue to own Haddon Hall. A legend grew up in the 19th century that Vernon and Manners eloped, and a number of novels, dramatizations and other works of fiction have been based on the legend.
The Nottingham home of Dorothy Vernon was built on the remains of a Carmelite Friary on land between St James’ Street known as Friar Yard and Friar Lane. The friary, originally home to the White Friars, was founded in 1276 but which by 1539 had been dissolved. It was around this time that a house was built incorporating parts of the Friary. The land later passed to John Manners who married Dorothy Vernon of Haddon Hall. Dorothy and her husband lived chiefly at Haddon Hall in Derbyshire but were known to have spent considerable time in a wing of the old Friary. In 1927 the house was demolished when Friar Lane was widened.