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MALLETT Established 1 8 6 5


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MALLETT

141 N E W B O N D S T R E E T , L O N D O N W1 B O U R D O N H O U S E , 2 DAVIES S T R E E T , L O N D O N W


CONTHNTS

M A L L E T T IN B O N D

STREET

Mallett & Son (Antiques) Ltd 141 New Bond Street London W I S 2BS Telephone: +44 (0)20 7499 7411 Fax: +44 (0)20 7495 3179 MALLETT

GALLERY

Mallett & Son (Antiques) Ltd 141 New Bond Street London W I S 2BS Telephone: +44 (0)20 7499 7411 Fax: +44 (0)20 7495 3179 M A L L E T T AT B O U R D O N

HOUSE

Mallett at Bourdon House Ltd 2 Davies Street London W I K 3DJ Telephone: +44 (0)20 7629 2444 Fax: +44 (0)20 7499 2670 Mallett Website: www.mallettantiques.com Email: antiques@mallett.co.uk

Front cover: Detail of the Radnor wall sconces

(see pages 20-21). Frontispiece: Detail from a Chinese export black and gold lacquer nine fold screen ^

(see pages 60-62). Right: Stourbridge cameo vase

{see page 75).


L O N D O N AND NEW

YORK

Opening our Spring catalogue last year,

decided to d o this in early 2003. At 929

I reflected on how 'history never stops

Madison Avenue we shall have extensive

happening'. C o u l d we ever have expected

showrooms offering a regularly changing

the enormity of the terrible events that

selection of fine pieces drawn from our two

would take place in September?

London shops and including the Gallery. This business will operate as a close link

The United States of America, and N e w

with London - a 'portal' to the huge

York especially, have suffered greatly and

treasure house of our international business.

circumstances for all of us, worldwide, have changed. But things have to go on

In the meantime we hope you will enjoy

and, in a determination for a return to the

this selection of magnificent furniture,

normal freedom which we cherish, London

paintings and objets d'art, and hopefully

and N e w York have become closer it

we shall be able to welcome you in L o n d o n

seems. Despite difficulties, English dealers

during the year.

have taken exhibitions to the USA and Mallett's special show in December in New York was wonderfully supported by our clients, as was the January Fair. For many years we have hoped to open a permanent shop in N e w York. It is with

Lanto Synge

enormous excitement that we have now

Chief Executive


Jfj


MALLETT IN BOND S T R E E T


THE H A G L E Y H A L L T A B L E S

A highly important pair of mid 18th century mahogany side tables of large scale and slightly serpentine form, attributed to William Vile, the frieze with a broad band of blind fret carving with shell and flower moulding above, the shaped apron formed of scroll mouldings adjoining large acanthus sprays interspersed with fret patterns, raised on boldly scrolling cabriole legs carved with elaborate foliate cartouches at the knees and ending in large acanthus scroll feet, supporting later tops of Medicis Breccia Sienna marble. English, circa Height: W U Width: 72 in Depth: 35 in

1755-60 in / 93.5 cm / 183 cm / 89 cm

PROVENANCE: F o r m e r l y in t h e c o l l e c t i o n o f the

11th Viscount Cobham at Hagley Hall, Worcestershire.

Originally made for Sir George Lyttelton, 5th Baronet, 1st Baron Lyttelton of Frankley, for Fiagley F^all, and thence by descent.

LITERATURE: F4 Avray Tipping, English Homes, Early Georgian, Period V, Vol I, Country Life 1921, pp 3 2 3 - 3 3 0 , pi 390. Christopher Fiussey, English Country Houses, Early Georgian, Country Life 1955, pp 1 9 5 - 1 9 9 , pi 353. Geoffrey Beard, The Connoisseur Yearbook, 1954, pp 11-17, pi XIa. THE L Y T T E L T O N FAMILY The Lyttelton family, later created Viscounts Cobham, have lived at Hagley since the 16th century and it was Sir George Lyttelton, 5th Bt, created Lord Lytton, I St Baron of Frankley, in 1756, for whom Hagley Hall was built between 1753 and 1760. George Lyttelton was the son of Sir Thomas Lyttelton, 4th Bt, and his wife Christian, sister of Sir Richard Temple of Stowe, who was created Baron Cobham in 1714 and Viscount Cobham in 1718. Several generations later, in 1889, the 5th Baron Lyttelton inherited the title of Viscount Cobham by means of the special

remainder attached to the title in 1718 which had allowed succession through the female line in the event of there being no male heirs. Sir George had a long career in politics and was renowned as an orator. Having entered parliament in 1735 as MP for Okehampton, Devon, he soon became Principal Secretary to the Prince of Wales and by 1756 had held the offices of a Lord of the Treasury, Cofferer to the Household and Chancellor and Under Treasurer of Court of the Exchequer. He was very much in touch with informed taste of the time and moved among the cognoscenti. A writer and poet himself, he was a generous sponsor of literature and numbered many writers among his friends. HAGLEY HALL The present Hagley Hall stands on the site of an earlier Elizabethan half-timbered house. Succeeding to the baronetcy and to the estate in 1751, the 5th Baronet, who had already begun embellishing the landscape of the park, set about planning


the new house. He drew upon the taste and expertise of a group of friends and associates, who were not ail strictly

The beauty and elegance of it now the furnishing of it is completed and most of the furniture up exceeds my expectations.

relation to the interior decoration of the room and its overall scheme. Made to the very latest rococo fashion, they not only complemented the other furnishings but

professionals but rather the gifted gentlemen amateurs who played such a

The relative restraint of the Palladian

also reflected Vassali's great plasterwork

part in the artistic and cultural life of

exterior belies the richness of the interiors

and even details of the fireplace.

the mid-Georgian era. This 'committee'

with their magnificent stucco work and

included John Chute and Thomas Barrett,

painted ceilings, considered by many to be

THE

both friends of Horace Walpole, Thomas

the greatest surviving series of rooms in the

This pair of tables has long been associated

English rococo style. The plasterwork was

with Chippendale's workshop. However, it

Prowse M P and Sanderson Miller.

ATTRIBUTION

done by a hitherto unrecorded Italian,

is now believed that these tables, as well as

Of the various plans submitted and hotly

Francesco Vassali, and the painting by

certain chairs at Hagley, one particular set

discussed, that of John Chute in 1 7 5 2

James 'Athenian' Stuart, who also designed

designed to stand with the tables, were

became the basis for the design, although

in 1 7 5 9 the Doric Temple in the park.

made by William Vile, whose firm of

Sanderson Miller was eventually appointed

Carved stonework of superb quality,

William Vile 8c Co was established at

architect. Conceived on Italian Renaissance

including fireplaces, was carried out by

least as early as 1751 in St Martin's Lane,

lines, the plans for Hagley underwent

James Lovell, Soho tapestries were supplied

London. He later formed a renowned

many alterations to conform

by Joshua Morris and fine furniture in the

partnership with John Cobb.

to the owners' exacting requirements,

latest fashion was commissioned.

particularly those of Lady Lyttelton. Her

In Georgian

opinions were pivotal; indeed. Lord North

This pair of tables stood in the principal

wrote of the project, If an Italian

reception room at Hagley Hall, the Saloon.

house

is built, it is my lady. Miller appears to

A set of carved mahogany side chairs of

have undertaken the work for little or

complimentary design to the tables, with

no financial reward but did, on final

upholstered backs and seats, was also

completion in 1 7 5 9 , receive from Lord

supplied for this room. What makes these

Lyttelton the following note of approval:

tables so particularly significant is their

Cabinet-Makers,

Jourdain states; In the period

Margaret covered

by

the first decade of George Ill's reign, pride of place among contemporary cabinetmakers must be assigned to Vile, whose existing work has a distinction without parallel and is unchallenged by anything known to have been produced by


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Chippendale's firm while working the rococo style.

in

This is praise indeed and a clear explanation for the patronage William Vile received from Royalty and the nobility. The Great Wardrobe accounts reveal the extent of work carried out by Vile for the Royal Household. Furniture was made and work carried out for Buckingham House, St James's Palace and Windsor Castle between 1761 and 1765. Probably the most celebrated pieces are the pair of mahogany medal cabinets bearing the star of the Order of the Garter, made for George III and now in the Victoria and Albert Museum, and the cabinet of mahogany and padouk, inlaid with ivory, made for Queen Charlotte's jewels in 1761, still at Buckingham Palace. A mahogany 'secretary' with fretwork decoration and a bombe base was supplied to the Queen's apartments in 1761 and also a work table for the Queen in 1763. These two pieces are interesting in that they both combine the new fashion for 'Chinese' fretwork decoration within rococo forms. This is also the case with these tables from Hagley. In particular, the

work table incorporates a fret pattern of similar design to that on the aprons of these side tables. The Royal Palaces apart, the impressive client list of Vile & Cobb involved the supply of furniture to many of England's greatest houses. A lesser known but significant, documented commission is that for the Honourable John Damer to supply furniture for Came House in Dorset. In Country Life in February 1953, in the second part of an article about Came House, the Vile & Cobb commission is described in detail and a sofa and armchair are illustrated, as well as an unusual writing table on base and legs of similar design. These pieces may be a little less grand than those made for the most important of the firm's commissions but all have the distinctive features of the leaf carvcd cabriole legs and aprons. They are interesting in that they arc evidence that by that time the firm was also providing seat furniture alongside its cabinet work and close comparison may be made to the chairs supplied to stand with the tables in the Saloon at Hagley. The hallmarks of Vile's oeuvre are the sheer quality of his workmanship and the

vitality with which he embraced the styles of the time, creating bold forms in the very best mahogany, embellished with the finest carving. These tables are masterpieces of the most significant age of English cabinet-making and design, created for a great contempory interior.

T h e S a l o o n , H a g l e y P a r k , C o u r t e s y Country

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Picture Library.

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A GEORGE

I WALNUT

SETTEE An extremely fine George I double ÂŁhair-back settee in walnut of exceptional, faded colour, the pierced vase-shaped back splats with stylised leaf carving at the top, with dished and out-curving arms ending in moulded scroll supports, the drop-in seat covered in period needlework depicting a blue and white bowl brimming with flowers, the seat rail carved with shells, the three front legs of cabriole form with carved shells and scrolls at the knees and ending in claw and ball feet. English, circa

1720

Height: 39'/! in / 100 cm Length: 57 in / 145 cm Depth: l l ' h in / 57 cm

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A finely preserved French needlework carpet consisting of 'paned' vertical panels with multicoloured floral decoration linking oval panels of petit point showing pictorial subjects including familiar mythical subjects and groups of flowers, all joined within borders and an outer frame of a stylized flower pattern on a brown background. France, circa 1710 Length: 104 in / 264 cm Width: 64 in / 163 cm

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T H E D U K E OF L E E D S '

CHAIRS

A pair of William and Mary japanned and gilt gesso side chairs from a celebrated suite of furniture originally in the collection of the Duke of Leeds at Hornby Castle, the

14 chairs & 2 stools frames black & gold cover'd with flowered velvet trim'd ivith guilt mouldings & serge cases, 1 large seat ditto

tall, narrow backs with ogee arched cresting and base, the seat rails of

Much of the early furniture sold from

lambrequin design embellished with gilt

Hornby Castle in 1 9 2 0 is assumed to have

flowerheads and roundels, raised on square

been transferred from Kiveton Park.

eight. The suite is recorded in the 1838 Inventory of Hornby Castle:

An antique settee with high back and ends Japan'd & Gilt with 2 seat cushions covered en suite 8 Japan'd & Gilt high backed antique chairs en suite 2 Japan d & Gilt stools

baluster front legs and square, raking rear

Hornby Castle came to the Osborne family

legs joined by serpentine stretchers linked

through the marriage of Francis, 5th Duke

by a central arch with turned finial; the

The suite was first sold by the 10th Duke of

of Leeds to the notorious Lady Amelia

backs and seats upholstered in old

Leeds at Christie's, London, on 10th June

D'Arcy in 1 7 7 3 . The latter subsequently

Genoese cut velvet.

1920, lots 1 1 2 - 1 1 4 (all to Moss Harris,

became engaged in an affair with Captain

the chairs for 8 0 0 guineas, the stools for

Byron, father of the poet.

4 8 0 guineas and the settee for 1 , 7 2 0

English, circa

guineas). They were subsequently sold as a

1700

Height: 5372 in / 136 cm

The assumption that the majority of the

suite as 'The Property of a Gentleman' on

Width: I V h in / 5 7 cm

furniture moved to Hornby Castle with the

29th January 1960 at Sotheby's, London,

Depth: 2 5 7 : in / 6 5 cm

Osbornes is substantiated by the presence

lot 118. They were acquired by Baron

of Thomas Osborne's monogram D C L on

Philippe de Rothschild. He donated one

several pieces, including a day-bed and a

pair to the Victoria & Albert Museum in

LITERATURE:

Percy Macquoid, The History

of

English

Furniture - The Age of Wahmt, 1905, p 114 Edward T Joy, The Country Life Book of

sofa (now at Temple Newsam House,

1964 and sold the remaining six to Mallett

Leeds), sold by Christie's in the 1 9 2 0

who sold them on again in 1965.

Hornby Castle sale. The monogram stands for his respective titles: Duke of Leeds, Earl

Of the set of eight chairs, two are now

Ian Wardropper & Lynn Springer Roberts,

of Danby and Marquess of Carmarthen. It

European Decorative Arts in the Art Institute of Chicago, 1991, p 44

displayed in the Museum of Fine Arts,

was most likely during this move that the

Boston, two in the Art Institute of Chicago

number of chairs in the suite was reduced,

and two in the Victoria &c Albert Museum,

Chairs,

1 9 6 7 (front cover illustration)

Michael Snodin & John Styles, Design

The Decorative Arts Britain

&

1500-1900,

either by separation or damage, from

London. The last remaining two are

fourteen to the present known number of

pictured overleaf.

Victoria &c Albert Museum Publications, London, 2 0 0 1 , p 6 0 , fig 5 6 PROVENANCE:

Almost certainly supplied to Sir Thomas Osborne, 1st Duke of Leeds (d 1712) for Kiveton Park, Yorkshire

Included in 1727 Inventory of Kiveton Park Thence by descent at Hornby Castle, Yorkshire, to George Godolphin Osborne, 10th Duke of Leeds ( 1 8 6 2 - 1 9 2 7 ) Included in the 1838 Inventory

of

Hornby

Castle Sold Christie's, London 10 June 1 9 2 0 , lot 114 part of a set of eight to Moss Harris for a total of 8 0 0 guineas Moss Harris, London Private collection, UK Sold Sotheby's, London, 2 9 January 1960, lot 118 Acquired by Baron Philippe de Rothschild for Musee Mouton Pauillac, Gerard, France Mallett & Son (Antiques) Ltd, 1965 Private Collection, USA These chairs are part of a larger suite of seat furniture commissioned by Sir Thomas Osborne, 1st Duke of Leeds, for the Great Dining Room at Kiveton Park, Yorkshire, built between 1694 and 1704. The suite is recorded in the 1727 inventory:

16

The matching settee in situ at Hornby Castle. Courtesy Country

Life Picture Library


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After the accession of William and Mary to the English throne in 1688 a new style from France, influenced by the work of Jean Berain, became apparent in contemporary interior design. This was the development of the grotesque in which the light strapwork features of earlier designs were embellished with decoration, in particular acanthus, figures and animals. One of the main developers of this style in England was Daniel Marot, a French Huguenot and son of a designer to Louis XIV who had emigrated to Holland. At the height of his career Marot was appointed court dessinateur to William and Mary, working in particular at Hampton Court Palace. Marot helped establish the idea of the unified interior in which the cfecoration, furnishings and furniture of rooms were all designed and supplied at the same time in a coordinated style. For the first time large suites of furniture were supplied for rooms whose walls and curtains would have been upholstered in the same rich and extravagant materials as the furniture. The design features and carved elements of the furniture would often be echoed in the architectural design of the particular room for which it was commissioned. At the same time as being richly decorative, Marot's style was fundamentally rectilinear and architectural. The rooms were clearly divided into long vertical panels and the

same Berainesque patterns were used on the upholstery, furnishings, wall elements and carved furniture details. This can be clearly seen on these chairs in the carved aprons and the intricate velvet upholstery. These chairs, together with the rest of the suite of chairs, settee and stools, would have created, in an equally sumptuous and corresponding interior, a spectacle of architectural grandeur. Two cabinet-makers are known to have worked at Kiveton: Thomas Young and Philip Guibert. The former was a joiner and carver whose work is also recorded at Chatsworth with Davis, Lobb and Watson, while the latter, Guibert (also spelt Gilbert and Gibbard), a cabinet-maker, is recorded at Kiveton in the Duke of Leeds' account books for 9 November 1703: Pay'd Gilbert, ye joyner by my Lady Duchess order Christopher Gilbert, in his Dictionary of English Furniture Makers 1660-1840, acknowledges that the aforementioned craftsman can be plausibly identified as Philip Guibert who, heavily influenced by the work of Marot at Hampton Court Palace, was extensively patronised by William III and supplied furnishing to Windsor Castle and Kensington Palace between 1697 and 1698. Clear parallels in the present chairs and in Huguenot designs supplied to these royal residences strengthen the attribution to Philip Guibert.

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Extract from the Duke o f I.ccds Accounts. By kind permission of The Yorkshire

Archaeological

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19


T H E R A D N O R WALL L I G H T S

An important pair of carved giltwood wall sconces surmounted by the coronet and crest of the 1st Earl of Radnor within an oval scrolled cartouche, the stem boldly carved in varying stages with gadrooning and scrolling foliage, the centre section of baluster shape bearing a large scrolled candle arm against a hatched ground, above a pierced base with a carved shell. English, circa

1680

Overall height: 32 in / 81.5 cm Depth from the wall: 11'A in / 2 9 cm These magnificent wall lights were made for either John, 2nd Baron Robartes and 1st Earl of Radnor (1606-85) or his grandson Charles, 2nd Earl (1660-1723). John Rohartes played a central role in the Civil War in Cornwall and as a devout Presbyterian was firmly on the side of Parliamentarians fighting with the Earl of Essex. After the King's execution Robartes, at odds with the new government, retired to his seat at Llanhydrock in Cornwall. On the Restoration of the Monarchy in 1660, the King, anxious to conciliate the Presbyterians, appointed Robartes to the Privy Council and later as Lord Privy Seal, before creating him 1st Earl of Radnor in 1679. It is likely that this superb pair of wall lights was commissioned shortly afterwards to celebrate the earldom's creation. The wall lights descended within the family before being recorded at Bramshill, Hampshire, in 1 9 2 7 in the Chapel Room in Lord Zouche's collection. They are shown with a similar but smaller pair of wall lights hanging on either side of two pier glasses, as they were probably meant to be originally. In the same year their importance was further recognised when they were included in Ralph Edwards' seminal work The Dictionary of English Furniture. After dark, even comparatively wealthy houses enjoyed little light due to the shear expense of wax candles. Objects associated with lighting tended therefore to reflect the luxury of lighting, often being made of silver and other precious materials. The demand for rich pairs of wall lights began to rise in popularity towards the end of the 17th century and showed the influence of the continental fashions popularised by the elaborate engravings of Jean Berain and Daniel Marot. As the scale of design for the lights increased so earlier silver, copper and gilt metal wall lights began to be

20

replaced with carved and gilt examples as recorded 'upon ye staires' of the Duke of Lauderdale's Westminster house in 1679. Soon they were to be recorded in more prominent rooms such as the 'large guilded skonce of wood' recorded in a bedchamber in the Cowdray Park inventory of 1682.

tiered decoration concentrates the rich foliate carving, arabesque candle arms, pierced strapwork and gadrooning within a thin vertical form surmounted by the Robartes crest beneath an earl's coronet. In the half light the gilding in particular would have stood out brilliantly adding to the richness of the effect.

It is likely that Lord Radnor equally intended this pair for either a grand reception room or bedchamber. The

A similar pair, traditionally associated with the Dukes of Rutland, may also be seen at Temple Newsam, Leeds.


A G E O R G E I BURR WALNUT

A George I bookcase, possibly unique, of tall proportions and in finely figured burr walnut of exceptional colour, the pediment with concave cornice and moulded edge, above two large mirrored doors with six bevelled glass plates, with herringbone inlay borders throughout, the right door edged with a brass moulding and both doors with brass key escutcheons, the interior with numbered folio shelves and stamped in two places on the base GR VI surmounted by a crown, the sides with walnut crossbanded edge, the low projecting base with matching burr walnut and herringbone bordered sections over two short drawers with brass drop-ring handles and key escutcheons, the left drawer with the seal of George Hamilton Gordon, 4th Earl of Aberdeen, raised on triple bracket feet. English, circa

1720

The lower plates replaced and with restoration to the side veneers and drawer linings Height: 101 Vi in / 2 5 8 cm Width: iO'Ain/ 128.5 cm Depth: 2674 i n / 6 7 cm PROVENANCE:

George Hamilton Gordon ( 1 7 8 4 - 1 8 6 0 ) , 4th Earl of Aberdeen, Prime Minister 1852-55, by whom presumably given by him or his descendants to the House of Lords, Palace of Westminster, London. LITERATURE:

For another example of a George I walnut bookcase with projecting base see R W Symond's Veneered Walnut Furniture, plate 52, and The Collector, January-April 1930, p 99. At the time this bookcase was in the collection of Mrs Nettlefold and formerly in Raynham Hall, Norfolk. Symonds describes the bookcase as being: a very rare design and proportion base is also extremely

example of extremely unusual proportions. He continues: the of the tall upper part to the low unusual and interesting and is pleasing.

This magnificent and rare walnut veneered bookcase is designed with the unusual feature of a low projecting base with drawers. The grand height of the piece is lightened by the use of mirror glass rather than a solid veneer. Each of the mirror panes, the top four being original, were made during a period when mirror glass

22

BOOKCASE

was extremely costly and was seen as the highest art of glass makers. The challenge to achieve larger plates was a great source of competition between the most accomplished glass houses that were based in south London in the 17th and 18th centuries.

reign of George VI (reigned 1 9 3 6 - 1 9 5 2 ) on the interior indicates that it was still in use in the House of Lords at the Palace of Westminster well into the 20th century. We are grateful to M r Timothy Duke, Chester Herald, College of Arms, for his assistance with this cataloguing.

The bevelled edges on the silvered mirror plates indicate the rarity and expense of the original commission. Bevelled edges were accomplished by slowly abrading the glass surface with sand to achieve the desired effect before polishing. The full effect of the mirror's richness would only be realised once the candles in the room had been lit so that the bevelled surfaces would shimmer in the constantly moving light. The armorials on a wax seal on the bottom left drawer of the bookcase are undoubtedly the Arms and Supporters of George Hamilton-Gordon, 4th Earl of Aberdeen, the statesman and Prime Minister. He was born on 28 January 1784, the son of George (Gordon) Lord Haddo, and grandson of George (Gordon) Earl of Aberdeen. He became Lord Haddo at the age of seven when his father died and he succeeded his grandfather as 4th Earl of Aberdeen in 1801. His joint guardians were William Pitt the Younger and Henry Dundas, 1st Viscount Melville. The collar of the Order of the Thistle surrounds the shield, with the pendant insignia below. Lord Aberdeen was created a Knight of the Thistle on 16 March 1808. The seal must have been made after 1818, when Lord Aberdeen took the additional surname and Arms of Hamilton. It probably pre-dates his appointment as a Knight of the Garter on 7 February 1855, when he might have been expected to surround his shield with the collar of the senior order of chivalry.

T h e interior shelves stamped in two places (iR

VI

surmounted bv a c r o w n .

Lord Aberdeen was Prime Minister from 1852 to 1855 and it is during this period that he presumably gave or loaned this bookcase to the Palace of Westminster, London. Parliament would have had great need of furniture after the extensive re-building that took place after it was destroyed in the disastrous fires of 16 October 1834. Little is known of the bookcase's subsequent history. However, the presence

T h e left drawer with the seal of George Hamilton

of two branded inventorv marks for the

Ciordon, 4th Earl of Aberdeen.


A L O N G C A S E C L O C K BY Q U A R E AND

An important George I walnut longcase clock by Daniel Quare and Stephen Horseman, the arched dial flanked by brass mounted columns and surmounted by a stepped hood with fretwork frieze and brass ball finials, the whole case in walnut of superb colour, markings and patination, the dial with silvered chapter ring and brass filigree spandrels, enclosing Roman and Arabic numerals and date and seconds subsidiary dials, inscribed Dan Quare Ste Horseman London N199. The two-train movement of eight day duration and striking the hours.

HORSEMAN

became Master in 1708. A celebrated maker, he worked from two London addresses, St Martins-le-Grand and the Kings Arms, Exchange Alley. Stephen Horseman was apprenticed to Quare in 1702. He later became his business partner and joined the Clockmaker's Company in 1709.

English, circa 1720 Height: 110 in / 2 7 9 cm Width: \9'h ml 49 cm Depth: 10 in / 25 cm Daniel Quare ( 1 6 4 8 - 1 7 2 4 ) , watch and clockmaker to George I and inventor of the repeating watch, was admitted to the Clockmaker's Company in 1671 and

A PAIR O F T A L L ANNE PIER

QUEEN

GLASSES

A magnificent pair of tall Queen Anne carved giltwood and gesso pier glasses, retaining their original double bevelled plates and all the original bevelled mirror borders contained within narrow giltwood mouldings, the broken pediment with central cartouche cresting flanked by arched foliate scrolls, the punched ground with raised scrolling acanthus, above further scrolls, trailing leaves and rosette motifs at either side. English, circa

1710

Height: 86 in / 2 1 8 cm Width: 2974 in / 74 cm


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A PAIR OF G E O R G E I W A E N U T SIDE

CHAIRS

A pair of early 18th century walnut side

English, circa

chairs, the backs with burr walnut veneers

Height: 407.. in / 103 cm

1725

of very fine colour, with central vase

Width: 22 in / 56 cm

shaped splats carved with scrolls and

Depth of seat: I 8 in / 46 cm

acanthus and flanked by shaped side rails, surmounted by an unusual shell carved cresting on a pounced ground, having drop-in seats covered in deep green silk velvet, raised on boldly carved cabriole front legs with a scrolling acanthus at each knee and ending in claw and ball feet, the back legs of curved and tapering form with pad feet.

27


A WALNUT

ARMCHAIR

A George II carved walnut armchair, the curving arm supports ending in carved roundel hand rests, standing on cabriole

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legs carved at the front with shell motif and pendant bell-flowers flanked by scrolls and ending in claw and ball feet, the rectangular padded back and seat covered in period floral needlework depicting stylised flowers and foliage on a dark brown ground.

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English, circa

1730

Height: 3972 in / 100 cm Width: 29'A in / 75.5 cm

/

Depth of seat: 20 in / 51 cm

•TWO


A SMALL G E O R G E I PIER

MIRROR

A George I carved giltwood and gesso pier mirror of small proportions and of architectural form, the broken pediment centred by a pierced shell and feather cartouche, the frame carved with strapwork and foliage, the sides hung with swags of fruits and flowers, the base with scrolls, foliage and a small central shell, retaining its original bevelled mirror plate. English, circa

1720

Height: 4 4 in / 1 1 2 cm Width: 2 1 in / 5 3 . 5 cm

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A PAIR OF G E O R G E II C A R V E D G I L T W O O D T E R M S

An important pair of George II carved giltwood terms in the manner of Benjamin Goodison, each in the form of a female mask bearing a foliate and scroll carved pediment with grey veined white Carrara marble top, the body in the form of a massive scale carved scroll, hung with drapes with a large acanthus leaf below, raised on a rectangular base with carved leaf and flower motifs. English, circa 1730 Height: 5172 in / 131 cm Width: 13 i n / 3 3 cm Depth: 12 in / 30.5 cm PROVENANCE: By repute formerly in the collection of the Marquess of Tweeddale at Yester House, East Lothian, Scotland iMallett and Son (Antiques) Ltd, 1989 Private Collection Benjamin Goodison was among the leading London furniture makers in the Kentian tradition of his day. He is recorded at the address of the Golden Spread Eagle, Long Acre, from 1727 to 1767. Among his illustrious patrons was Frederick, Prince of Wales, to whom he supplied a number of pieces for Hampton Court Palace. In the Prince's service he was involved in a number of royal occasions, culminating in making no less than eighty sconces for the funeral chamber of the Prince in 1751. A documented set of gilt female terms supplied by Goodison to the Prince in 1732-33 are still at Hampton Court Palace and are illustrated in The Dictionary of English Furniture. They are described in Goodison's account as carved term fashion.

Among other commissions were those for Viscount Folkestone at Longford Castle in Wiltshire, the Earl of Leicester at Holkham Hall in Norfolk, and the Earl of Cardigan at Deene Park in Northamptonshire. Another significant private patron was Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough, who employed Goodison at several houses including her London residence in Dover Street, and her heirs, the Spencers, at Althorp. Yester House was designed by James Smith for John Hay, 2nd Marquess of Tweeddale ( 1 6 4 5 - 1 7 1 3 ) . By 1729, the 4th Marquess turned to William Adam to remodel the interior, provide a new roof and alter some exterior details. It is very likely that these terms were commissioned during this period of remodelling. The saloon, by William, John and Robert Adam, is of remarkable quality and was described by the painter Gavin Hamilton ( 1 7 2 3 - 1 7 9 8 ) as the finest room at least in Scotland. Gian Carlo Menotti, the Italian operatic composer, bought Yester House in 1972 at which time the terms would have been sold.

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A similar pair of terms, formerly at Elvaston Castle, Derby, were sold at Sotheby's In November 1963 from the collection of the Earl of Harrington. Elvaston Castle was in the possession of the Stanhope family from the 16th century to the time of the Sotheby's sale and each Earl was devoted to a series of rebuilding and refurnishing according to the fashion of their day. At least six other terms by Goodison were recorded in the Earl of Harrington's collection at Elvaston.

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The ornamentation of Goodison's furniture is distinctive, with boldness of scale and execution in fine detail. The female mask and carved fish scale decoration, as seen on these terms, were favoured devices. Like William Kent, Goodison's furniture reflects the classical ornamentation of the architecture of the period.

• "f...

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1


A PIECRUST TRIPOD

TABLE

An elegant Chippendale period mahogany piecrust tripod table, the tilt top of fine colour and raised on a turned stem with spiral knop, on tripod supports with unusual petal capped knees and ending in claw and ball feet. English, circa 1760 Height: I T h in / 70 cm Width: 24 m / 6 1 cm Tripod tables were made for holding tea and coffee equipage. Tea had been introduced to England from Holland in the early 17th century and in spite of the high prices and heavy duty imposed, it gradually became a fashionable drink, around which great ceremony revolved. Towards the middle of the 18th century there was a shift from the former fashion of drinking in tea gardens to drinking at home. Consequently cabinetmakers turned their attention to the making of suitable ornamental tables, often for a special tea-room. In the Female Spectator of 1745, a contributor writes: The tea-table would

costs more to support

maintain

two children

at

than

nurse.

William Ince and John Mayhew illustrated designs for Tea Kettle Stands in their Universal System of Household Furniture of 1 7 6 2 , as did Chippendale in his Gentleman and Cabinet Makers Director, London, 3rd ed, 1762, pi LV.

A G E O R G E II W A L N U T PARCEL GILT

AND

MIRROR

A George II walnut and parcel gilt pier glass, the broken swan's neck pediment with central foliate cartouche cresting and egg and dart borders, the rectangular bevelled plate within carved gilt gesso double borders, the sides hung with carved leaves, fruits and flowers, with shaped apron below. English, circa

1740

Height: 5IVz in / 131 cm Width: 2 7 7 . in / 70 cm

32


I'

ft

-'v:


A N I M P O R T A N T S U I T E O F G E O R G E II D I N I N G

An exceptionally rare suite of mid 18th century carved mahogany dining chairs comprising four open armchairs with pierced fretwork backs of 'Chinese' railing and with fretwork sides and six side chairs with upholstered backs, all the chairs with arched toprails with central foliate cartouche, the frames carved with gadrooned borders, the square legs with similarly gadrooned corners and foliate brackets. All the chairs are upholstered in 18th century needlework, the seats of the four armchairs having floral needlework on a buff ground. The six side chairs are covered with needlework depicting scenes from mythology and fables. English, circa

1755

ARMCHAIR:

Height: 3972 in / 100 cm Width: 25 in / 64 cm Depth: 23 in / 58 cm SIDE

CHAIR:

Height: W h in / 100 cm Width: 22 in / 56 cm Depth: 2072 in / 52 cm PROVENANCE:

Kent Gallery Ltd, London Mallett & Son (Antiques) Ltd The Myron C Taylor Collection, sold by Parke-Bernet Galleries Inc, New York, 1 1 - 1 2 November 1960, lot 5 5 4 Private Collection Mallett & Son (Antiques) Ltd, 1964 Collection of the late Sir Emmanuel Kaye CBE EXHIBITED:

English Domestic

Needlework,

Metropolitan Museum of Art, London, 1945 LITERATURE:

H Cescinsky, English Furniture from Gothic to Sheraton New York, 1937, p 2 8 4 M Jourdain & F Rose, English furniture: The Georgian Period (U.^O-l 830), 1953,

p 80

D Nickerson, English Furniture Century, London, 1963, p 55

of the

18th

This suite of armchairs and side chairs, probably a unique grouping, must have been conceived as a whole, yet adapted to incorporate an amalgam of contemporary decorative motifs, both the 'Roman' and

34

CHAIRS


ws

SAW


AN I M P O R T A N T S U I T E O F G E O R G E II D I N I N G C H A I R S

the 'Chinese', and also fine needlework of the period. The double arched shape of the chair backs, the acanthus crestings and the gadrooned mouldings occur throughout all the chairs. The backs and sides of the armchairs, however, enclose panels of Chinese fretwork. In the backs these are juxtaposed with turned columns. This is an unusual combination, though a similar fret and pillar arrangement does appear on a set of chairs from Fineshade Abbey, Lincolnshire, illustrated in The English Chair by Moss Harris, 1946. Chinoiserie forms became highlights of the fanciful rococo period and yet these fret or lattice patterns in fact appear as early as 1750, in William Halfpenny's Twenty New Designs of Chinese Lattice, and in 1751 in Matthias Darly's New Book of Chinese, Gothic and Modern Chairs. There followed Thomas Chippendale's hugely influential Gentleman and Cabinet-Maker's Director of 1754, with engravings by Matthew Darly, illustrating 'Chinese Chairs' to be upholstered in needlework or tapestry (plates X X I I I - X X V ) and a variety of patterns for 'Frets' and 'Chinese Railing' (plates CL-CLX). Later designs by Robert Manwaring and Ince and Mayhew are also recorded. The contemporary needlework seat of each side chair depicts a different scene from

continued

Aesop's Fables, with their moral connotations echoed on the seat backs, representing stories taken from either Ovid's Metamorphoses or Virgil's Aeneid. One example is the combination of the Fable of the Fox and the Crow with the story of Dido and Aeneas: A Fox once saw a Crow fly o f f with a piece of cheese in its beak and settle on a branch of a tree. The Fox decided he was hungry and wanted the piece of cheese. He walked up to the foot of the tree and cried up to the Crow: 'Good Day, Mistress Crow. How well you are lookittg today; how glossy your feathers are; how bright your eyes are. I am sure also that your voice is far superior to that of all other birds; let me hear one song to prove it and so I can greet you as Queen of all Birds'. The Crow lifted up her head and began to caw her best, but the moment she opened her mouth the piece of cheese fell to the ground only to be gobbled up by the Fox. 'That ivill do,' he said. 'That is all I wanted. In exchange for your cheese I ivill give you a piece of advice for the future do not trust flatterers.

needlework on the chair back. The scene represents the beginning of the love affair between Aeneas and Dido. Aeneas, on his great journey, arrived at the court of Dido, Queen of Carthage in North Africa. Dido was charmed by Aeneas flattery and soon fell madly in love. Time passed, until Aeneas realised that he should continue his journey. In the dead of night he crept away and set sail with his entourage, leaving Dido, unaware, in Carthage. When she woke she realised what had happened and immediately killed herself. Aeneas looking back across the sea could see the smoke from the funeral pyre.

The hidden meaning of the fable of the Fox and the Crow depicted in the needlework of the seat is echoed in the story taken from Virgil's Aeneid depicted in the

37


sear tovereu wirn penoa riorai gms point needlework depicting climbing roses on a cream ground within red strapwork and dark brown and blue borders; the padded arm rests with carved foliate detail, the serpentine seat rail carved on three sides with scrolling foliage and with central shell at the front, raised on cabriole front legs headed by shells and ending in acanthus scroll feet. English, circa 1760 Height: 39 in / 99 cm Width: 26 in / 66 cm Depth: 28 in / 71 cm

38


A M A H O G A N Y

BACHELOR'S

CHEST

A most u n u s u a l e x a m p l e of a G e o r g e II bachelor's chest in m a h o g a n y a n d of larger t h a n average size, the fold-over t o p a b o v e t w o shallow d r a w e r s flanked by lopers, a b o v e an a r r a n g e m e n t of a long d r a w e r , t w o short d r a w e r s a n d t w o deeper long d r a w e r s , all outlined with e b o n y c o c k b e a d i n g a n d retaining their original oval, d r o p - r i n g brass handles, with brass carrying handles at either end a n d raised on b r a c k e t feet with c o u n t e r s u n k castors. English, circa

1750

Height: 30'A in / 7 7 cm Width: 3774 in / 9 4 . 5 cm Depth: 1772 in / 4 4 . 5 cm

^

39


T H E H A R E W O O D HALL CHAIRS


41


m

42


THE H A R E W O O D

HALL CHAIRS

A highly important pair of George II mahogany hall armchairs in the manner of William Kent, the rectangular backs panelled with foliate carving and surmounted by foliate carved scroll crestings flanked by ball finials, the backs and arms bordered throughout with bead and reel carving, with out-curved arms with scroll hand rests and scroll supports, the solid seats with ribbon-and-rosette borders above fluted rails, standing on baluster legs headed by egg-and-dart, beading and acanthus carving, tapering to turned collars and guilloche carved circular feet. English, circa 1760 Height of back: 39in / 99 cm Height of seat: 18in / 46 cm Width: 3172 in / 80 cm Depth: 24 in / 61 cm

continued

The house passed through several owners until it was bought in the I920's by the 6th Earl of Harewood and HRH The Princess Royal, Countess of Harewood, as their London residence. Although the chairs were traditionally believed to have been part of the original furnishings of Chesterfield House, a very recently discovered photograph- shows that they were not documented in the hall when it belonged to the previous incumbent. Lord Burton. The chairs, together with a settee from the same set, only appear in photographs at Chesterfield House after The Princess Royal and Lord Harewood acquired the house in the 1920's. These chairs are known to have formed part of a more extensive suite, now dispersed, that included an additional six armchairs and two benches that would have been too large to be accommodated wholly in the London house.

un-upholstered so that visiting messengers and coachmen with their dusty clothes could use them freely and footmen awaiting their returning employers would not fall asleep in the early hours. The chair forms were often highly sophisticated as the design relied on its shape, proportion and quality of carving to project the status of the household rather than through applied decoration, gilding or upholstery. The formal nature of the chair lent itself successfully to the interpretation of classical designs and the timber was often of the highest quality, richly polished to set off the carving. The severity of the furniture too remained a foil to the grandeur and richness of the reception rooms that led off the hall. Later examples in the 18th and 19th centuries began to incorporate the owners' elaborate armorials, although the tradition for using mahogany remained.

PROVENANCE:

Possibly commissioned by Daniel Lascelles for Goldsborough Hall, Yorkshire Moved to Chesterfield House, London, from Harewood House, Yorkshire, in 1922 by HRH The Princess Royal, Countess of Harewood, and the 6th Earl of Harewood Returned to Harewood House after 1932 until sold from the house by HRH The Princess Royal, Countess of Harewood and the 7th Earl of Harewood at Christie's, London, lot 64, 28 June 1951 Mallett & Son (Antiques) Ltd, 1979 Private Collection LITERATURE:

H Avray Tipping, English Homes, V, Early Georgian,

1714-1760,

Period

vol I,

pp xxvii, figs xvii, xxviii and xix. Chesterfield House These great hall chairs are a pair from an impressive suite that was formerly at both Harewood House in Yorkshire and Chesterfield House, London. The latter, now sadly lost, was built by the 4th Earl of Chesterfield between 1747 and 1752 and remained, until it was pulled down in 1932, one of the great private London palaces. Lord Chesterfield wrote in December 1747, 'My court, my Hall and my staircase will be really magnificent. The expense will ruin me but the enjoyment will please me'.'

It would now seem likely that the chairs, with the bench, were originally brought to London in the I920's from Harewood House, Yorkshire, one of England's greatest houses and the single most important commission of both Robert Adam and Thomas Chippendale. The scale of these chairs is exceptional with their strong architectural references and they relate to a set designed (and made) by William Kent for the 3rd Duke of Devonshire for Devonshire House in London in the 1730's, now at Chatsworth House, Derbyshire.

' M Cathcarr Borer, The Yecirs of Graiuieiir

- The Story

of May fiiir, London 1975 pi 70. ' National Monuments Records, London

The design conforms to the 18th century tradition of hall furniture being constructed of very fine quality mahogany and remaining severe in form, reflecting the classical severity of the halls they sat in. A further hall bench was also supplied to the I St Earl of Clarendon for The Grove, Hertfordshire, in about 1756. It is clear that these chairs bear strong similarities to a design by John Linnell of circa 1758-60, who may in turn have been influenced by a design of William Kent published earlier in 1744. It is certainly known that Linnell supplied furniture to nearby Goldsborough Hall, another Lascelles family estate, whose collection was consolidated at Harewood around the time that Chesterfield House was acquired by Lord Harewood.

The Hall of Chesterfield

House shoii'i?!g iwrt of the

suite ill situ, 1922. (Courtesy ol" Country

Hall furniture was almost alwavs left

Life

Picture Lihrary)

43


THE CRAVEN

COMMODES

A great pair of English ormolu mounted, marquetry, bombe commodes in the French manner, attributed to Pierre Langlois, in padoui< and kingwood, veneered and cross-banded throughout in chevron pattern, the serpentine tops inlaid at the centre with a basket of flowers and with posies of flowers at either side, the doors inlaid with pendant garlands of flowers tied with ribbon and with butterflies within a scalloped border, the sides similarly inlaid with pendant flowers and butterflies, the front corners with full-length rococo gilt brass mounts ending in scroll sabots on the tapered, bracket feet; the interior of each commode fitted with three tulipwood and rosewood drawers retaining their original handles. English, circa 1770 Height: 33 in / 84 cm Width: 41% in / 108.5 cm Depth: ZO'A in/ 51.5 cm

44

PROVKNANCK: Almost certainly commissioned by William Craven, 6th Baron Craven (1738-1791) Thence by descent to William Robert Bradley Craven, 6th Earl of Craven (19171965) Sold Sotheby's October 1965 by Order of the Executors of the 6th Earl Mallett & Son Private collection UK This pair of commodes, known as 'The Craven C o m m o d e s ' , was almost certainly commissioned from the great London cabinet-maker, Pierre Langlois, in association with the bronze caster and gilder Dominique Jean. The Craven c o m m o d e s were attributed to Pierre Langlois in a series of articles in Connoisseur by T h o r n t o n tk Reider, Pierre Langlois, Eheniste. The gentle and elegant curves, regarded as a progression away

from the more accentuated bombe shape of his earlier commodes (including the only t w o documented pieces by his hand: the C r o o m e Court commode, originally commissioned by the 6th Earl of Coventry in 1764 and now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art and another supplied to the 4th Duke of Bedford, and still in situ, for Woburn Abbey, Bedfordshire), date this pair to the latter part of Langlois' career. The Craven commodes are extremely important in that they are one of extremely few recorded pairs attributed to Langlois. They exhibit marked stylistic and constructional similarities to other examples with which he is associated. The mounts are common to those on a group of commodes linked to Langlois and the bronze caster and gilder Dominique Jean, including an example, formerly in the Leverhulme collection and another


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T H E CRAVEN C O M M O D E S

continued

recorded in the Victoria and Albert Museum archives. The inlaid floral marquetry is closely related to commodes in the collection at Wykeham Abbey, Yorkshire, an example formerly in the collection of George Mahana (now with Mallett's) and a commode formerly in the collection of Granville Farquhar {sold Christie's March 1930, lot 126). W I L L I A M , 6TH B A R O N

CRAVEN

The present commodes were almost certainly commissioned by William, 6th Baron Craven (1738-1791), later passing into the collection of William Robert Bradley Craven, 6th Earl of Craven (1917-1965), and sold on the orders of his Executors by Sotheby's on the 8th October 1965. William was the son of the Reverend John Craven and the nephew of William, 5th Baron Craven ( 1 7 0 5 - 1 7 6 9 ) . He was born in 1738 at Staunton Lacy and later educated at Balliol College, Oxford. In 1767, he married Lady Elizabeth Berkeley, daughter of the 4th Earl of Berkeley. His uncle died without issue in 1769 and William Craven inherited both the title and the estates. He and Lady Elizabeth separated in 1780. Craven was appointed

46

Lord Lieutenant of Berkshire in 1786; a role which he kept until his death in 1791. Shortly after his succession, William Craven began to build a new house near the family seat of Hamstead Marshall in Berkshire. The new house, Benham Park, was built between 1774-75 under the direction of Lancelot Brown, also known as 'Capability' Brown, and his partner, Henry Holland. The joiner Richard Paine agreed: To do whatever carpenters work he is employ'd about at Lord Cravens at Benham . . . in the best and most workmanlike manner. The present commodes would almost certainly have formed part of the furnishings of the new house. THE CRAVEN

PROVENANCE

Several other important pieces of furniture dating from the same period of the 18th century have Craven provenance. These include two items sold from Combe Abbey, Warwickshire in the I960's: a magnificent pair of finely carved mahogany

urns and pedestals, now in the Gerstenfeld collection, and a exceptional library desk based on a design by Thomas Chippendal in The Gentleman and Cabinet-Maker's Director. Further items include a mahogany canopied bed sold at Christie's 11 April 1923 (lot 99) by Cornelia, Countess of Craven and a neo-classical mahogany cupboard.

These pieces, commissioned for the Crave family seats of Benham Park, Combe Abbey, Ashdown House and Hamsptead Marshall clearly suggest and underline the fact that the 5th and 6th Baron Cravens were ordering furniture of the highest quality from London's premier cabinetmakers. The present commodes emphasise the point beyond question. PIERRE

I.ANCil.OIS

I.anglois was almost certainly French and probably settled in London some time before the outbreak of the Seven Years W in 1756. It is likely that he descended from a family of cabinet-makers who were established in Paris in the late 17th centur By 1759, Langlois had been recorded as working from premises at 39 Tottenham Court Road, London where he continued to trade until 1781. During this period he


established himself as one o f London's

be found in styles earlier than those o f

leading c a b i n e t - m a k e r s . It was in the late

O e b e n , with the designs o f J e a n Berain,

1 7 6 0 ' s and then the 1 7 7 0 ' s that Langlois

Andre-Charles Boulle and N i c h o l a s Pineau

produced his finest w o r k , including the

playing an i m p o r t a n t role.

present pair o f c o m m o d e s , h was then that he attracted the patronage o f some o f

A n o t h e r t r a d e m a r k o f Langlois' w o r k is the

England's foremost collectors including the

use o f e l a b o r a t e o r m o l u mounts. O r m o l u

4th Earl o f Bedford for Woburn Abbey, the

mounts appear on most o f the pieces

6th Earl o f Coventry for C r o o m e C o u r t

attributed to Langlois and are believed

and H o r a c e Walpole for H o u g h t o n Hall.

to have been made by his associate Dominique Jean.

Langlois developed a distinctive style that was markedly French in c h a r a c t e r and

DO.VIINIQUE J E A N

enjoyed particular success at a time when

O f French origin, D o m i n i q u e J e a n is first

war with France placed an obvious limit

recorded in L o n d o n in 1 7 6 4 . T h r o u g h o u t

on the importation o f French furniture and

his life, he developed his career as a

other luxury goods into England. T h e use

bronze caster and gilder and specialized in

of marquetry, the ormolu mounts and the

gilt-metal m o u n t s for furniture and w o r k s

elegant b o m b e shape are all influences

o f art. His most i m p o r t a n t patrons

from Langlois' French origin. Langlois

included the D u k e o f N o r t h u m b e r l a n d for

specialized in floral marquetry which was a

w h o m he w o r k e d at Syon H o u s e and

style not seen in English c a b i n e t - m a k i n g

N o r t h u m b e r l a n d H o u s e in 1 7 7 5 , Lord

since the reign o f William and Mary, and

H o w a r d de Walden at Audley End in

had only recently been revived in France.

I 7 8 6 and 1 7 9 0 and the Prince o f Wales

Similarities between the marquetry work

at C a r l t o n H o u s e in 1 7 8 3 - 8 6 and again

produced by Langlois and the French

in 1 8 0 6 . It is thought that he supplied

master c a b i n e t - m a k e r and marquetry

m o s t , if not all, o f the ormolu m o u n t s for

specialist J e a n Fran(,-ois O e b e n suggest that

Langlois' furniture including the present

Langlois may well have started his career

c o m m o d e s ; the mounts o f which closely

in the latter's w o r k s h o p . However,

relate to o t h e r pieces with which he is

inspiration for much o f Langlois' work can

associated.

^ ^ ^

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47


A PAIR O F G E O R G E III G I L T W O O D A R M C H A I R S F R O M H E A T O N H A L L

A "

E

^^


An important pair of George III giltwood armchairs of large proportions, the design attributed to James Wyatt and probably executed by John Linnell, the crest rail and seat rail centred with swag drapery, the backs and seats carved with lamb's tongue pattern and beading, the downswept padded arms with acanthus carving, on square tapering legs headed by paterae, each leg with lamb's tongue carving on three sides, terminating in carved block toes. English, circa

1775

Height: 4 0 ' A m / 102 cm Width: 27in / 68.5 cm Depth of seat: 23'A in / 59.5 cm PROVENANCE:

Commissioned by Sir Thomas Egerton, 7th Bt, later 1 St Earl of Wilton, for Heaton Hall, Manchester

L

By descent until sold by 7th Earl of Wilton at Christies, 14 July 1949 Italian Private Collection Mallett & Son (Antiques) Ltd 1966 LITERATURE:

Heaton Hall Bicentenary Exhibition 1772-1972, Manchester, p 4 4 Lanto Synge, Great English Furniture, 1991, p 98, fig I 10 The transition in England to neo-classicism was less sudden and severe than that in France. The square tapering legs and shaped backs of this pair of armchairs exemplify the English adaptation of the Louis XVI style. The most famous advocate of neo-classicism in England was the Scottish architect, Robert Adam. However, it was his greatest rival, James W'yatt, who was commissioned to remodel Heaton Hall for Sir Thomas Egerton.

The Saloon was the grandest of all Heaton's reception rooms, placed at the centre of the house with a columned screen at one end and a bowed front overlooking the gardens at the other. Suitably grand furniture was commissioned for this room apparently to Wyatt's designs, including these magnificent chairs, originally part of a set of six. Their specific design for the Saloon is further enforced by the detail of the frames that recurs in the room's spectacular plaster work on the ceiling by Giovanni Battista Maini. It is known that Wyatt often worked with John Linnell on important commissions and this attribution to Linnell can be supported by the fact that the carved drapery in these chairs is found on other examples of known pieces by Linnell, in particular a set of armchairs and settees attributed to him, now in the Victoria and Albert Museum.

49


A R A R E G E O R G E II G A T E - L E G T A B L E

A George II oval gate-leg table, the top in richly figured mahogany of wonderful colour and with carved and beaded borders, raised on eight slender, turned 'spider' legs joined by turned stretchers and ending in pad feet. English, circa

1750

Height: 28 in / 71 cm Length: 4574 in / 116 cm W i d t h : 3772 in / 95 cm

I'ROVENANC:K:

Mallett & Son (Antiques) Ltd M r Gerald Hochschild, Paris Collection of the late Sir Emmanuel Kave C:BH

50


\ PAIR O F G I L T W O O D W A L L B R A C K E T S

A pair of George 111 giltwood wall brackets with carving of exceptional quality, the bowed tops mounted with a border of large beads and raised on naturalistic acanthus leaves above a swag of leaves and berries. English, circa 1770 Height: HVi in / 37 cm Width: 9 mill, cm Depth: 8V4 in / 22.5 cm

" >

-

(

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tdlh

51


A BOSSI M A R B L E F I R E

SURROUND

A late 1 8 t h century Bossi fire surround o f

In the fireplace is a G e o r g e III brass and

white statuary marble, the central tablet in

steel serpentine

firegrate.

the frieze with a yellow and red rosette surrounded by swags o f laurel leaves and

Height: 3 1 in / 7 9 c m

berries with ribbon ties, flanked by rose

W i d t h : 3172 i n / 8 0 c m

buds and red berries, the j a m b s with

D e p t h : 16 in / 4 1 cm

laurels o f berries a b o v e ribbon tied strings o f blue harebells.

Irish, circa

1775

Overall height: 5874 in / 1 4 9 cm Overall width: 7 2 in / 1 8 3 c m Height o f aperture: 47'h in / 1 2 1 cm Width o f aperture: 4 9 in / 1 2 4 . 5 cm D e p t h : 674 - 772 in / 1 7 - 19 c m

y


A G U N M E T A L F I R E G R A T E AND M A T C H I N G

FENDER

A rare late 18th century gunmetal serpentine fire grate and matching fender, the grate with pierced lozenge pattern frieze decorated with a beaded border above floral motifs surrounding and centering entwining lines, with square chamfered front legs and urn finials, all with finely engraved decoration, together with its matching serpentine shaped fender, with similarly decorated frieze above a moulded plinth. English, circa

1790

Height o f b a c k : 3 2 in / 8 I cm Width o f grate: 3 3 in / 8 3 . 5 cm Depth o f grate: 127. in / 3 2 cm Width o f fender: 41 'A in / 106 cm

53


A G E O R G E III M A R B L E F I R E S U R R O U N D

A very fine George III white statuary and jasper marble fire surround, the breakfront cornice carved with fluting and stylised acanthus, the frieze with central entablature carved with a classical bowl on an acanthus stem brimming with berries and leaves and hung with swags of husks, flanked by flambeau motifs and scrolling foliage, the jambs with Ionic columns surmounted by female masks with ribbon tied hair within fanned ovals, the aperture with bold egg and dart border.

English, circa 1780 Overall height: S l ' h in / 146 cm Overall width: 70'h in / 179 cm Height of aperture: 39 in / 99 cm Width of aperture: 38 in / 97 cm Depth: 774 - lO'A in / 18.5 - 2 7 cm


A LARGE

'SUMMER'

FIRE

GRATE

An important late 18th century steel

furniture was the 'summer' firegrate. The

w h o succeeded his uncle in 1782. The

serpentine 'summer' fire grate of

serpentine front section could be removed

architect of the earlier stages was Flitcroft

exceptional scale, with pierced lozenge

when the fire was to be lit, leaving a less

(together with R Tunnicliffe) and, in the

pattern frieze, square tapering front legs

elaborate inner frame surrounding the

later 18th century, John Carr of York.

and urn finials; with removable front and

basket, thus avoiding the grander faijade

From Flitcroft's design of 1734 for the east

having engraved decoration on both the

becoming unnecessarily soiled by the

elevation grew one of England's most

outer and inner frames.

burning fire. During the summer months, the

famous fa(j-ades and, at two hundred yards

front would have been replaced and the

long, it is the longest in the country. This

English, circa 1782

grate seen in its full splendour, the steel

fire-grate grate stood in the fireplace of the

Height of back: 39 in / 99 cm

polished to a gleaming finish.

State Dining R o o m , formerly the 'Grand Drawing R o o m ' , in the east front.

Width: 48 in / 122 cm Depth: 19 in / 48 cm

This particular grate is exceptional in two

PROVENANCE:

engraved, albeit in a simpler fashion, with

respects. Firstly, the inner section has been Wentworth Woodhouse, Yorkshire

neo-classical motifs; this was normally left

Made for Charles, 2nd Marquess

quite plain. Secondly, and most notable, is

Rockingham (d 1782) and by his descent

its very grand scale, commensurate to the

to his nephew;

great interiors of Henry Flitcroft's baroque

William, 4th Earl Fitzwilliam (d 1833)

masterpiece, Wentworth Woodhouse.

and by descent. The rebuilding of Wentworth Woodhouse 1 irERATURE:

began in about 1725 for Thomas Watson-

Cotmtry Life, fig 9, p 5 16. Vol LVl,

Wentworth, w h o became 1st Marquess of

5 October 1924. Shown in situ in the State

Rockingham and was a descendant of

Dining R o o m at Wentworth Woodhouse.

Thomas Wentworth, Earl of Strafford, w h o had lived in the earlier house. The

The ultimate luxury in 18th century chimi.ev

work was completed by the 2nd Marquess,

The grate with front removed.

55


A B R O N Z E STATUE OF A S H E P H E R D

A very rare late 18rh century bronze figure of a shepherd, in the manner of John Cheere, standing with head turned to the right and with feet crossed and bearing a staff in his right hand, wearing a hat, a jacket over a loose shirt, breeches and buckled shoes; with verdigris patina overall. English, circa 1770 The staff replaced Height of figure: 4 7 in / 119 cm Height of pedestal: 3372 in / 85 cm Overall height: SOVi in / 2 0 4 cm Base square: 1972 in / 4 9 . 5 cm The bronze figure stands on a square terracotta pedestal by Doulton, with stylised acanthus mouldings. Stamped in an oval: DOULTON & Co, LAMBETH, LONDON. LITERATURE:

cf Lawrence Weaver, English Its Art & History,

Leadtvork

-

London 1909, p 187

His figures are discussed and illustrated in Lawrence Weaver's English Leadwork - its Art & History, where, in particular, his shepherd and shepherdess figures are shown on p 187. A pair of lead figures of these same models, still retaining in a remarkable state much of their original polychrome painted decoration, were sold by Mallett's in 1992 and are now in a private collection. The idealised rustic spirit of the Arcadian 'shepherd' and 'shepherdess' typifies the fashion for the fanciful, when the rococo style was at its height. The male figure is dressed in a jacket over a loose shirt, breeches and smart buckled shoes. She is somewhat decollete, with a tightly laced bodice, draped skirt and similar fashionable shoes - hardly the garb of rural workers but with a degree of elegance alluding to higher society. The two characters relate to each other with a mutual signal of companionship, even intimacy, in the spirit of romanticism.

This charming and extremely rare bronze is the same model as garden figures made in lead in the workshop of John Cheere ( 1 7 0 9 - 1 7 8 7 ) . If not produced from one of his actual casts, it is most certainly taken directly from one of his designs.

John Cheere was 'the man at Hyde Park Corner' of Garrick and Colman's The Clandestine Marriage of 1766. In his book on the life of the sculptor Nollekens, The antiquarian writer J T Smith describes a visit with Nollekens to a lady in Hampstead thus:

John Cheere learned much from his elder brother, Sir Henry Cheere, who was already a successful sculptor, commissioned for many public monuments. In 1737 John Cheere began manufacturing lead figures from his yards near Hyde Park Corner in London. This area already had a tradition for lead modellers such as Andrew Carpentier, known for his statues for some of the great houses in the 1720's and 1730's, and John van Nost, a sculptor from Holland who had come to London on the accession to the throne of William III. It is believed that Cheere took over van Nost's yard. In any case, he became the first lead modeller to produce a regular supply of garden figures and developed a thriving business, producing statues and busts in great quantity.

Her evergreens were cut into the shapes of various birds, and Cheere's leaden painted figures of a Shepherd and a Shepherdess were objects of as much admiration with her neighbours as they were with my Lord Ogelhy, who thus accosts his friend in the second scene of the Clandestine Marriage: 'Great improvement, indeed Mr Stirling, wonderful improvements'. The four Seasons in lead, the flying Mercury, and the basin with Neptune in the middle are in the very epitome of fine taste; you have as many figures as the man at Hyde Park Corner.'

Whereas the earlier lead workers followed examples of classical and renaissance sculpture and baroque statuary, Cheere's work was in the new style of the mid 1760 s, with figures in a pastoral theme in informal poses, playful putti representing the Four Seasons, lively figures from ancient mythology, popular from the Grand Tour, and even a gamekeeper with shotgun raised.

56

Cheere's business also flourished through making plaster figures and busts for interiors. Interestingly, these were finished to simulate bronze. Small items were made for chimney-pieces and side tables, as well as large scale statues after the antique, produced for grand neo-classical halls and galleries. Figures by Cheere were certainly used by Robert Adam and there are lead sphinxes at Syon Park - remodelled by Adam for the Duke of Northumberland in the I760's - which may well have come from his yard. Gradually, demand for the garden figures began to dwindle as the look

desired for gardens and landscape became less formalised and more natural. In the 19th century many figures were either melted down or just left to deteriorate. They have therefore become very rare and are now, once again, highly prized.

Even in Cheere's heyday there were those who looked down on the work of the lead modeller as a baser form of sculpture. It is therefore all the more significant that someon held this particular model in such high regard that it should be cast in bronze, presumably for a specific location in an interior rather than out in the garden. The verdigris patina, probably of a later date, is more than just an allusion to the shepherd's lead counterparts, who were obliged to withstand the onslaught of the British weather.

Among known examples of John Cheere's work are those made for: Bowood House, Wiltshire, Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire Stourhead, Wiltshire, Castle Howard, Yorkshire, Anglesey Abbey, Cambridgeshire Wrest Park, Bedfordshire, Biel House, East Lothian And now from Hyde Park Corner come The gods of Athens and of Rome. Here squabbly Cupids take their places With Venus and the clumsy Graces. Apollo there with aim so clever Stretches his leaden bow for ever; And there, without the pow'r to fly. Stands fixed a tip-toe Mercury. Robert Lloyd, The Cit's Country Box, 1756


A HEPPLEWHITE

TUB C H A I R

A Hepplewhite mahogany tub chair of exceptionally large size and in the French style, the moulded frame with wide cove hack, curving arm rests and serpentine seat rail, raised on cabriole legs headed by a shell motif. English, circa

1780

Height: 397: in / 100 cm Width: 317: i n / 8 0 cm Depth: 35 in / 89 cm

OF E X C E P T I O N A L

SCALE


A SHERATON

PERIOD

TRICOTEUSE A late 18th century lady's work table or tricoteuse, in faded harewood of golden colour and with narrow kingwood cross-banding and inlay and boxwood stringing, the top centred by an applied classical engraving and with a drop front, raised on turned double columns united by a bowed shelf, on splayed feet ending in brass box castors. English, circa 1790 Height: 31 in / 79 cm Width: 2 7 in / 68 cm Depth: 1672 in / 42 cm LITERATURE:

Lanto Synge, Mallett Millenium, p 189, fig 241

1999,

In his Cabinet-Maker and Upholsterer's Drawing Book of 1793, plate LIV, T h o m a s Sheraton depicts 'A Lady's Work Table' with rectangular top and drop front and with a shelf below 'shaped something like a boat'. Fashionable as it was to use a French term, such a table also became known as a tricoteuse, from tricoter, to knit. It was a piece of furniture made for a distinct purpose and as much a part of a Georgian drawing room as its tea tables and chairs. Designing furniture of exquisite proportions and delicacy of form, Sheraton did not overlook practicalities. Referring to the elliptical lower shelf he writes 'The boat part, which serves as a convenience for sewing implements, is six inches over the middle, and three at each end'. The table top with its partly hinged gallery provided a safe receptacle for all the balls of wool or skeins of silk. These tables were usually made in sycamore (harewood) or satinwood and The Dictionary of English Furniture shows an example in satinwood and with double shelves (vol 3, p 323, fig 9).

The applied engraving on the top of the table illustrated here probably shows the Emperor Marcus Aurelius as philosopher.

From pi 54 of Thomas Sheraton's Cahinet-Maker \Jl>h(>lsterer's Dniwiiig

Book,

iimi

1793

59


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A M A G N I F I C E N T C H I N E S E E X P O R T N I N E F O L D S C R E E N continued

A magnificent Chinese export black and

PROVENANCE:

(1770-1838) privately by the Prince of Wal

gold lacquer nine fold screen, exceptionally

Presented by George, Prince of Wales in

in thanks for his service. Lord Dalhousie

enjoyed a very distinguished military career

richly decorated with a continuous design,

1815 to General George Ramsay, 9th Earl

each leaf having three shaped panels

of Dalhousie G C B and by descent at

serving in the Peninsular War and

depicting scenes of court and domestic life,

H a d d i n g t o n H a l l , Perthshire.

c o m m a n d i n g the 7th and 6th Divisions at

with a great variety of groups of figures

Vittoria. From 1819 to 1828 he served as

amongst pavilions, terraces and gardens,

European merchants w h o commissioned

Governor General of Canada, founding

framed within a hatched ground overlaid

magnificent porcelain armorial dinner

Dalhousie University, before being appointe

with tendrils of flowers and leaves, all

services started the tradition of incorporating

Commander-in-Chief in India from 1829-3

within an outer border of fantastical

European coats of arms in Chinese export

dragons amongst cloud motifs, the central

works of art from the 1700's. However, it is

Fortunately, the finely detailed coat of arm

leaf bearing the coat of arms of the Earl of

rare for a screen to incorporate a coat of

allows us to date this magnificent lacquer

Dalhousie, bearing the mottos Tria Jitncta

arms, perhaps reflecting the importance of

screen to a date just after 1815 as it

in Uno and Ora et Lahora

the royal commission. A design for the coat

incorporates the distinguished badge and

incorporating the Prince of Wales' motto

of arms would have been sent with the order

m o t t o - Tria Juncto

Ich

and such a screen ordered from England

G r a n d Cross of the Order of the Bath.

and also

Dien.

In Uno - of a Military

would probably have taken up to two years

A l t h o u g h established in 1725, the Order

The reverse of the screen is decorated with

to be delivered.lt would have been viewed by

was divided into t w o divisions. Military

birds and butterflies amidst bamboos and

Lord Dalhousie as a most extravagant gift,

and Civilian in 1815. In 1813 Dalhousie

flowering trees.

especially being emblazoned with his new

had already been created a Knight of the

coat of arms.

Order of the Bath. However this was

c o m m u t e d to the Military division in 1815

Chinese, circa 1815 Height: 84 m / 2 1 3 cm

This screen was presented to General

when he was created the 1st Lord

W i d t h of each panel: 22 in / 56 cm

George Ramsay, 9th Earl of Dalhousie

Dalhousie of Brechin Castle.

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A PAIR OF I T A L I A N

BIRD

PICTURES

A fine pair of early 1 9th century Italian gouache paintings of exotic birds, one with parrots perched on a rocky ledge with t w o beetles in the foreground, the other with pheasants also on a rocky ground, attributed to Vittorio Raineri (1797-1869). Italian, circa

1840

Height: 28'A in / 72 cm Width: 337. in / 85 cm

63


A BLACK

LACQUER

CABINET

A very fine mid 18th century japanned cabinet decorated throughout with chinoiseries in shades of gold, raised in some areas, on a blaci< ground, in imitation of oriental lacquer, with borders imitating nashiji, the door fronts depicting a lake landscape with terraced pavilions amongst trees and rocks, with fishermen in the foreground and snow capped mountains in the far distance, the interior with an arrangement of ten drawers of various sizes decorated with birds, wild fowl, flowers and leafy branches, the inside of the doors with butterflies and flowers; the cabinet mounted with pierced and engraved brass lock escutcheon and strapwork hinges.

ON

STAND

A very similar cabinet attributed to Martin Schnell, in Schloss Pillnitz, Dresden, is illustrated in Lackkunst in Dresden unter August dem Starken. Martin Schnell, born circa 1685 in Stade near Bremen, trained under Gerard Dagly, the celebrated Berlin lacquer master to Augustus the Strong, Elector of Saxony. (See Lacquer of the West by Hans Huth).

German, circa 1740 Height of cabinet: 32 in / 81 cm Width: 37'/: in / 9,5 cm Depth: 20 in / 5 I cm Overall height on modern craquelure gilt stand: 65 in / 165 cm

65


A REGENCY ROSEWOOD WRITING TABLE

An extremely fine Regency brass mounted rosewood writing table, the top with a Greek key pattern gallery on three sides, the frieze with two drawers at the front and dummy drawers at the reverse, all with brass beaded borders, star handles and anthemion escutcheons, raised on lyre shaped end supports joined by an arched stretcher, outlined in brass beading and raised on splayed feet with brass acanthus castors. English, area 1810 Height: 30'h in / 77 cm Width: 43V4 in / 111 cm Depth: 2374 in / 60.5 cm I.ITERATURK:

Life, 10 July 1937, in the 'Boudoir' at Londonderry House. This very elegant writing-table with lyre end supports symbolic of Apollo, the classical god of music, beautifully illustrates the most refined early Regency furniture, richly veneered in rosewood contrasting with the gilt mounts. Such work has been traditionally associated with the work of the celebrated Regency cabinet maker, John McLean who is believed to have supplied furniture to Carlton House for the Prince Regent as well as documented examples at Saltram House, Devon. McLean's use of gilt metal mounts exhibits the French influence popularised by the Regent's francophile circle.

A comparable Regency rosewood writing table with arched stretcher was in the collection of Charles, 7th Marquess of Londonderry and is illustrated in Country

66

There is a small group of almost identical Regency rosewood writing-tables almost certainly by the same accomplished maker.

They all share the identical brass gallery, distinctive anthemion escutcheons, beaded mounts and stylised acanthus sabots and are veneered in highly figured rosewood. Two of these examples were formerly at Belton House, Lincolnshire, and Orwell Park, Suffolk, respectively and a third, now in a private collection, was sold by Mallett in 1956. A related table with an almost identical upper structure was sold from the celebrated Moller collection in 1993.


A PAIR O F R E G E N C Y M A H O G A N Y D W A R F B O O K C A S E S

"

ÂŤ j? I l l ÂŤ liiJIi

III'

ipil^

1

"

iiisaaiisi

m. m.

i^i^iS^

w'-

A rare pair of early 19th century mahogany dwarf bookcases of exceptional quality, in the manner of J o h n M c L e a n , each with a breche violette marble top edged in brass, above three adjustable open shelves, flanked on the front corners with brass inset columns, the well figured mahogany sides with brass carrying handles, supported on turned, tapering legs, terminating in brass toes. English, circa

1810

Height: 3 5 7 : in / 9 0 cm Width: 34'A in / 8 7 cm Depth: 12 in / 3 0 . 5 cm

67


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AN E X C E P T I O N A L R E G E N C Y S O E A T A B L E

An extremely rare early 19th century sofa table of great elegance and refinement, in faded rosewood, the top with unusual satinwood banding in three widths, raised on four deeply curved 'spider' legs joined by a central roundel, the table mounted on the frieze and on the base with gilt metal leaf and flower motifs, anthemia, and crescent and ball swags, the feet with stylised leaf cast brass castors. English, area 1810 Height: 2874 i n / 7 2 cm

Victoria and Albert Museum but this does not have all the gilt metal mounts that are to be found on the other examples. The second, with brass inlaid top, is illustrated in Furniture in Colour by Lanto Synge, p 113. This came through Mallett's hands in 1975. Very similar to the second, the third table is illustrated in Regency Furniture by Frances Collard, p 3 1 7 , and more recently in Mallett's exhibition catalogue. The Age of Matthew Boulton - Masterpieces of NeoClassicism, London 2 0 0 0 , p 113. This is now in a private collection.

Length: 5874 in / 148 cm Depth: 23V4 in / 6 0 cm This highly unusual sofa table is one of only four examples known at present that incorporate the double curved leg supports that are more often seen on card tables of the same period. This is the only one in rosewood, the three other examples all being in calamander wood. One of the three is now in the

71


A G O T H I C REVIVAL OAK P A R T N E R S '

DESK

A mid 19th century G o t h i c Revival p a r t n e r s ' desk in o a k of exceptionally fine colour, the gilc tooled leather w r i t i n g surface a b o v e three d r a w e r s in the frieze on b o t h sides, the d r a w e r s with m o u l d e d edges a n d s e p a r a t e d by a stylised

floral

carving with central e b o n y detail, each side also with concealed a n d fitted ink well c o m p a r t m e n t ; o n e pedestal with c u p b o a r d s opening to the f r o n t a n d the o t h e r with c u p b o a r d s t o the side, all with panelled gothic arches veneered in pollard o a k with oak m o u l d i n g s flanked by cluster c o l u m n s , the brass locks s t a m p e d Chithh's 218902,

5 7 St Pcwl-s Churchyard,

English, circa

patent, London.

1860

Height: 31 in / 7 9 cm Width: 7 4 in / 188 cm D e p t h : 5 0 in / 127 cm

73


A PAIR

OF

FISH

VASES

A p a i r o f large vases by Stuart a n d Sons L t d , each engraved w i t h three fishes s w i m m i n g , s u r r o u n d e d by rising b u b b l e s , the fish engraved w i t h a m a t t Signed o n the base Stuart

E n g h s h circa

finish.

England.

1935

H e i g h t : 11 Vi in / 2 9 c m

These vases were designed by L u d w i g Kny (1869-1937), chief designer at Stuart tk Sons, a n d o n e o f t h e m is illustrated in Frcmi Broad

Glass to Cut Crystal

D R Gutterv, 1956.

by


A SCOTTISH CLARET

EWER

A n engraved claret ewer of the J o h n Baird Glassworks, Glasgow, possibly by H e n r y Keller, engraved w i t h a winged

figure

h o l d i n g a child a n d a branch of laurel below floral festoons, with a shell-moulded handle.

Scottish, circa

1870

Height: 1 3 7 4 i n / 3 4 cm

ENGRAVED

GLASS

The standard of engraved glass in the British Isles was i m p r o v e d immeasurably in the m i d 19th century by an influx o f highly trained a n d skilled glass engravers from northern B o h e m i a , driven o u t by the relative poverty o f that country, a n d the wealth a n d d e m a n d for skilled craftsmen in Victorian Britain. Others m a d e the longer trip to the United States.

These skilled craftsmen settled in all the glassmaking areas, L o n d o n , Stourbridge, E d i n b u r g h and G l a s g o w a n d moved on from p r o d u c i n g views of spa t o w n s a n d forests full of deer, w h i c h were their staple o u t p u t back in Bohemia. Illustrations f r o m the classics became a favourite w i t h their new customers a n d the engraver o f the jug o n the right below must have remembered stories of the rituals of eagles in his native Bohemia. M a l e eagles, w i s h i n g to delineate their territories w o u l d soar to a great height a n d then lock talons with their rival, the t w o eagles w o u l d then d r o p t o w a r d s the forest until the weaker in spirit released himself a n d escaped.

A STOURBRIDGE

CLARET

EWER A Stourbridge claret ewer, finely engraved with t w o eagles in c o m b a t w i t h i n a c o n t i n u o u s w o o d l a n d landscape with stags a n d deer, on a star cut foot.

English, circa

I 875

Height 1274 i n / 3 1 . 5 c m

76


A

16TH

C E N T U R Y

V E N E T I A N

B O W L

This bowl was made around 1500, when

A large Venetian spirally ribbed bowl with

VENETIAN

two applied blue trails to the rim, set on a

Following the fall of the R o m a n Empire,

the glassmakers of M u r a n o were at the

high conical folded foot moulded with

glass making in Europe went into a decline

height of their powers. The gold leaf used

spiral ribs, with traces of gilding to the

and virtually ceased except in the

at this period shows up well against the

rim and foot.

Rhineland. The rise of Islam enabled the

colbalt blue glass of the foot and the

C.LASS

production of glass to continue in the

trailing around the rim. Bowls such as

Southern Mediterranean but it was not

these can be seen full of fruit in

Height: 8 in / 20.5 cm

until the rise in influence of Christian

contemporary Italian paintings.

Diameter: 1 0 7 M n / 2 5 . 6 c m

Venice in the 14th century that the art

Venetian, circci

1500

of glassmaking returned to Europe. The glassmakers in M u r a n o , learning from their trading contacts in the south Mediterranean, became extremely skilled in glassmaking and enjoyed a virtual monopoly.

77


A COMMEMORATIVE

TANKARD

A quart sized cylindrical tankard engraved on one side with a view of the Sunderland Bridge which was opened in 1796, the centre engraved with the coat of arms of the Coulson family and the reverse inscribed within a cartouche Presented by Captain Lascelles

Thomas

Coulson

1830.

English, circa 1830 Height: 7 in / 18 cm

to Mr

Thomas


AN A R M O R I A L

GOBLET

An unusually large covered goblet, wheelengraved on the front with the Royal Coat

s ^

of Arms, the reverse with a vacant cartouche and floral festoons, set on a square lemon-squeezer pedestal foot, the cover with a faceted spire finial. English circa

1790

Height: 1772 in / 45 cm This fine engraving is typical of the work being carried out in Newcastle and Sunderland at this period. In particular, the Wear Flint Glass C o of Depford, Sunderland, were producing finely engraved ware.

Si

/-


STOURURIDCiH

M O O N F I . A S K

A fine Stourbridge intaglio engraved moonflask, probably Thoinas Webb and d o , engraved with the triinnph of Aniphitrite, the reverse with vacant shell wreath and flying cherub cartouche. Knglish, drai

1870

Height: I I in / 2 S cm Amphitrite (Salacia) was the (Ireek goddess of the sea. She was the daughter of Nereus and Doris, or of Oceanus aiul Tethys, and married Poseidon. Amphitrite is a Nereid, a water nymph that is confined to the waters surrounding (ireece. Slie anti her consorts rode a chariot pulled by sea creatures, or rode on a sea creatine, her waving hair covered by a net, surrouiuled by cherubs and other things of the sea.

. i !t

80


81


RANELAGH BARRETT {active l737-d 1768) AFTER

JOHN

WOOTTON

(1682-1764)

Sir Robert Walpole's Hounds

m .

- t e f t


RANELAGH BARRETT

continued

(active 1737-d 1768)

Sir Robert Walpole's Hounds

Signed, incribed and dated R Barret J Wootton 1744 Oil on canvas

after

Unframed: 6 0 x 94 in / 152 x 2 3 9 cm Framed: 66'/i x lOOVi in / 169 x 2 5 5 cm Ranelagh Barrett is regarded as one of the leading artists of this period who specialised in copying the paintings of the old master painters. His work illustrates the tradition of copying and serves as a reminder that this practice was held in high regard by some of the most eminent collectors, gentry and leading artists of the period. It was not a profession that was frowned upon during the 18th century even artists of such eminence as Reynolds and Gainsborough are known to have made copies of paintings. Ranelagh Barrett was much favoured by Sir Robert Walpole ( 1 6 7 6 - 1 7 4 5 ) , 1st Earl of Orford and creator of Houghton Hall, who commissioned from him copies of pictures by Teniers, Rubens, Van Dyck, Maratta and Guido. Barrett is known to have painted at least eight pictures after originals in the collection of Sir Robert Walpole. These are recorded in the notebooks of the antiquary and engraver George Vertue, which are now in the collection of the Walpole Society. In 1742 Vertue writes: he by this particular of Copying justly, especially in Colouring gaind (sic) him the reputation which got the Favour of Sr. Robt. Walpole - who gave him leave constantly to be in a room at his house which became a well situated office for Barret, who had much busines (sic) and employment there, for persons of Quality & c and others, so long as Sr. Robt livd (sic) in the treasury offfice. Also recorded are copies of paintings in the Royal Collection and in the collections of the Duke of Grafton, Duke of Devonshire, Duke of Newcastle, Lord Oxford, Lord Foley and Dr. Mead. In 1745-46 Vertue notes that Barrett 'artfully leaves' a copy of Van Dyck's portrait of Kenelm Digby at the houses of persons of Quality to be shown or seen by their Friends which never fails of procureing (sic) him business & reputation.

84

The emergence of this, a further undocumented version, virtually identical to the one that Mallett sold from the Houghton collection in December 1994 (see fig 2) illustrates how popular this image was not only to Sir Robert but also to the artist. It is possible that Sir Robert commissioned two versions one for the Breakfast Room at Houghton (where the first version was documented as hanging in the 1792 inventory), and a second for another of his residences. The present whereabouts of the original painting by Wootton are unknown. It was engraved by Richard Earlom and published by Boydell in 1780. See A Meyer, exhibition catalogue for John Wootton, the Iveagh Bequest, Kenwood, London 1984, pp 80-1, No 61 Illus. (see fig 3). Walpole is widely considered to be the first Prime Minister of Britain. The title of Prime Minister was not officially recognised during his administration, the King was still considered the head of the government and to this end picked his own ministers. Walpole was a character larger than life; he boasted that he read letters from his gamekeeper before those from cabinet ministers and rarely read books. Despite portraying himself as an unsophisticated country squire he was well known to have had an incredible understanding of figures and had mastered the machinery of public credit that had been created by the financial revolution of the 1690's. These attributes of the common touch combined with an understanding of finance contributed to giving Walpole one of the longest periods of power enjoyed by anyone other than a monarch in British History. As Walpole's power and wealth increased he turned his attention to his love of art and Architecture he went about creating one of the most prominent houses of the period. Walpole built Houghton Hall on the site of a Jacobean house in the manor of Houghton. The project was started in 1722 and completed in 1735. The original designs were prepared by Colen Campbell in 1721. However, Walpole subsequently engaged Thomas Ripley, who had succeeded Grinling Gibbons as 'Chief Carpenter to the King's Works', to revise Campbell's designs.

With the striking feature of its domes, its boldly rusticated base storey, its piano nobile with the state rooms on the first floor, and its lower flanking wings linked to the main block by quadranted colonnades, Houghton must surely rank as a leading example of English Palladianism.

In 1727 Walpole commissioned William Kent to decorate the interior and to design the furniture for the Staterooms. Walpole also commissioned the sculptor Rysbrack and the Venetian stuccoist Artari to .enhance the internal decoration. Most of the original hangings and furniture remain intact since the days of the first Prime Minister. In 1779 the Wootton, together with other paintings in the Houghton collection were sold by his grandson to Catherine the Great of Russia, some of which, including other works by Wootton now hang in the Hermitage in St. Petersburg. Sadly the 3rd Earl had not inherited the qualities of his grandfather, the great lover of art and architecture that had inspirationally created Houghton. To the contrary he was a spend-thrift and a poor manager of his inheritance. The massive expenses incurred in the upkeep of Houghton could not be met. The collection was sold and for a while the house fell into disrepair and the gardens grew wild. The wonderful furnishings, many pieces designed for Walpole by William Kent, thankfully survived.

John Wootton, Portrait of Sir Robert Walliole (lh7f>-l74SI, Windsor

lis Master of the King's Staghoiiinis in

Forest.

P r i v a t e c o l l c c t i o n / B r i d g e m a n Art L i b r a r


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85


J O H N R U S S E L L RA (1745-1806)

Portrait of Anne and Maria

Signed and dated upper l e f t } RA/1804

Russell

Russell

Pastel Unframed: 4 0 x 3 0 in / 101.5 x 76 cm Framed: 5072 x 42'h in / 128 x 108 cm PROVENANCE:

By descent from the artist to Thomas Russell, his youngest child ( 1 7 8 5 - 1 8 6 5 ) ; His daughter, Ann Maria Cross, 5 Kyrle Road, Wansdworth 1894; Acquired by Mallett's December 2 0 0 1 . LITERATURE:

George C Williamson, John Russell, RA 1894, p 140 and ill opp p 82 EXHIBITED:

Royal Academy, 1804, no 3 8 9 Anne Russell ( 1 7 8 1 - 1 8 5 7 ) and Maria Russell ( 1 7 8 2 - 1 8 6 1 ) were two of the artist's twelve children, four of whom died in infancy. Anne married Mr Jowett, whose uncle Dr Hey of Leeds was a great friend of the artist. Hey helped treat Russell for deafness that troubled him in 1803. Russell was based in London, and spent several months of each year travelling the country and doing portraits in oil and pastels. He perfected his technique in pastels to a very high pitch, and in 1772 published Elements of Painting with Crayons. He won premiums from the Society of Arts for Drawings in 1759 and 1760 and entered the RA Schools in 1770. Russell exhibited at the Society of Artists in 1768 and abundantly at the Royal Academy between 1 7 6 9 - 1 8 0 6 (329 works in total), becoming a full Academician m 1788. Pastel manufacturing dates back to the 15th and 16th centuries, but it was not until the 18th century that the pastel portrait became popular. The medium gave artists the opportunity to produce a softer image than in oils, Russell himself states in his Elements of Painting with Crayons that an artist should cover the paper with chalk and then 'sweeten the whole together by rubbing it over with his finger'. Russell was a popular artist in his day and enjoyed Royal patronage. In 1788 he was appointed Crayon Painter to King

86

George III and to the Prince of Wales. By 1804, the date of the present work, Russell was fifty-nine but still at the height of his powers. Williamson (op cit pp 90-91) records that in 1800, Russell was charging ÂŁ 1 0 0 for a portrait of this size, which was as much as Reynolds charged in the last years of his life. However the years of hard work were beginning to take a physical toll on the artist. He had been troubled by ill health for much of his life and in 1803, he suffered a bout of cholera which left him almost deaf. He spent less and less time in London and more time in Yorkshire and particularly Leeds where his friend Hey lived. He continued to exhibit to acclaim at the Royal Academy but in April 1806, while in Hull, he was taken ill with typhus fever and, in his weakened state, died shortlv afterwards.


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J O S E P H F R A N C I S G I L B E R T RA (1791-1855)

A Lakeland Landscape thought to he Ulls-Water Head, Cumberland Signed and dated 1834 Oil on canvas Unframed: 45 x 64 in / 114 x 162.5 cm Framed: 517: X 71 in / 130 x 180 cm |F Gilbert was born and baptised at Aldgate in December 1791. He was the son of Edward Gilbert, a watchmaker and (rather eccentrically) inventor of bombs, grenades and firing devices. By 1801, the family had moved to a shop next to the White Hart Inn in East Street, Chichester. Gilbert's teacher is not known (Abraham Pether, another Chichester-born landscapist

88

is a possibility), but by the age of 22 he was exhibiting landscape paintings at the Royal Academy in London, as well, later, at the British institution and the society of British Artists. He seems to have been patronised by the 4th Duke of Richmond, to w h o m an engraving of his Market Scene in Chichester is dedicated. Apart from his work as a landscape artist, he was also a drawing-master in his native town.

Though his paintings have a pleasing and competent air about them, he has been forgotten to a large extent, occupying, as he does, the ground between the formal topographers of the 18th century and the sucrose-flavoured Victorian landscapists. His style is highly idiosyncratic: well drawn, formally composed, high in tone and silkysmooth in execution. Colonel Grant {Old English Landscape Painters, 1947) says of him

Gilbert was widely itinerant in search of the Picturesque landscape which so obsessed the painters of the late Georgian era, and we k n o w from signed and documented examples of his work that he visited North Wales, the Lake District, his native Sussex and the Killarney Lakes in Ireland.

Where Gilbert really shone, and it is with a mild and true radiance, was in the transcription of the pretty scenery of Sussex . . . Why pictures so pretty and individual a his have sunk into oblivion is a question as hard to answer as many others which are inexplicable to lovers of old English Art.


JOHN NOST

SARTORIUS

(1759-1828)

A Favourite Bay Hunter held by a Groom in an extensive landscape

in m a n y c o u n t r y h o u s e s t h e l e n g t h a n d breadth of England. He painted many s p o r t i n g s c e n e s f o r c l i e n t s w h o m he m e t a t t h e N e w m a r k e t r a c e s , a n d his c l i e n t e l e

Signed and dated

1782

n u m b e r e d m a n y o f the m o s t f a m o u s

Oil on c a n v a s

a r i s t o c r a t i c s p o r t s m e n o f his a g e : L o r d s

U n f r a m e d : 2 5 x 3 0 in / 6 3 . 5 x 7 6 c m

Derby, Foley, K i n g s t o n , the breeders and

F r a m e d : 3 4 ' A x 2 9 ' A in / 8 7 x 7 4 . 3 c m

t r a i n e r s C h r i s t o p h e r W i l s o n a n d Sir

J o h n N o s t S a r t o r i u s w a s t h e son a n d pupil

T h e Prince o f Wales. His paintings are as

C h a r l e s B u n b u r y , a n d g r a n d e s t o f all, o f the sporting painter Francis Sartorius,

p o p u l a r t o d a y a s t h e y w e r e in his

w h o s e style is very s i m i l a r t o his o w n . A

o w n lifetime.

prolific p a i n t e r o f e v e r y a s p e c t o f t h e c o u n t r y life a n d rural s p o r t s , S a r t o r i u s h a s

T h e present painting dates from 1 7 8 2 , at a

left us w i t h an e n c h a n t i n g r e c o r d o f t h e

time when J o h n Nost s painting technique

s p o r t i n g life o f t h e late G e o r g i a n e r a .

a n d style w e r e c l o s e s t t o his f a t h e r ' s , a n d

Like his f a t h e r ( a n d , t o a d e g r e e , his o w n

w h e n t h e y w e r e b o t h still living in t h e

son J o h n F r a n c i s S a r t o r i u s ) he w a s

a r t i s t s enclave o f S o h o , at n u m b e r

i t i n e r a n t , a n d his p a i n t i n g s a r e t o be f o u n d

Wells Street, off O x f o r d Street.

10

89


G E O R G E B A R R E T RA

EXHIBITED:

(1728-1784)

London, Hayward Gallery, The Arts

AND

S A W R E Y G I L P I N RA (1733-1807)

Council of Great Britain, British Pointing

I.ITERATURE:

Sport and the Countryside paintings,

Colonel Thomas Thornton, of Thornville Royal, Yorkshire, walking up grouse, with his pointers, Juno and Pluto Colonel Thornton and friends landing their catch at Lake Windermere

A pair of oils on canvas 4 6 X 64 in / 114.3 x 163.8 cm In their fine original carved and gilded frames 5174 X 71 in / 131 X 180.5 cm

Sporting

1 6 5 0 - 1 8 5 0 , 1974, p 55, no 62.

ivatercolours

in

English

and prints,

David

Coombs, Phaidon, London, 1978 Illustrated p 96 (the shooting painting). Colonel Thomas Thornton ( 1 7 5 7 - 1 8 2 3 ) , the son of William Thornton, Member of Parliament for York, 1747-54, was the most renowned sportsman of his generation and a significant patron of sporting artists. On inheriting his father's estate and large fortune he devoted his time to his passion for sport. In 1789, he purchased the estate of Allerton Maulevrer from the Duke of York, for the then enormous sum of ÂŁ1 10,000, renaming it Thornville Royal. Thornville became renowned for the extent and range of its sporting activities, which were famous for their extravagance.

PROVHNANCE:

From the collection of Miss K H Kenyon; P & D Colnaghi Co. Ltd., London by whom sold to the previous owner.

90

Thornton, a keen self-publicist, was also well known for his accounts of his

sporting activities. In the early 1780's Thornton made a trip to the Scottish Highlands, dividing his time between hunting, shooting, angling and hawking, accompanied by the artist George Garrard, and he published an account of his tour as A Sporting tour through the Northern Parts of England and a great part of the Highlands of Scotland, in 1784. A subsequent sporting tour in France in 1802 was likewise published as A Sporting Tour in France, in 1806. In the first of these works he is shown with his two pointers, Juno and Pluto. The Spanish pointer had been introduced into England in circa 1730, but on account of it being found to be too easily tired at the end of a day's hunting, it was cross-bred with the foxhound. Pluto in his day was famous as a deer-hound, and it is recorded that Pluto and Juno kept their point for over an hour and a quarter while Gilpin drew their portraits. In the second of the two paintings Thornton is depicted on Lake Windermere where he was one of the first to fish trout with a drv flv.


Part of Thornton's celebrated collection of sporting art was sold by Hickman in May I 820 (the only known copy of this catalogue is in the library of the Frick Collection; New York). Thornton married twice. His first wife was an accomplished horsewoman and her husband was said to have laid bets on her success against her male competitors (Annual Register, 1805, p 412). His second marriage was to Eliza Cawston of Mundon, Essex, with whom he had a son, William Thomas. He died in Paris 10 March 1823. George Barret was a native of Ireland where he initially enjoyed a good success before removing to London where he was amongst the leading landscape artists of the mid-Georgian age. He was widely patronised by many of the leading members of the aristocracy, and there are paintings by him in many old English collections as well as in the National Collections of both Britain and Ireland. The landscape in these paintings is executed by him; the figures and animals are by his great friend collaborator Sawrey Gilpin RA, who was himself born into a family of local gentry near Lake

Windermere in the Lake District. He was a leading sporting artist of his day, and one of the few to rival Stubbs in commercial success. As here, he frequently collaborated with other artists, to provide the portraits of animals and humans in their paintings. His landscapes were occasionally divided between three artists, a notably example being the Horses and Groom, where the landscape is by Barret, the horses by Gilpin and the portrait by Henry Walton. Sawrey Gilpin was born on 30 October 1733, the seventh of fifteen children of Captain John Gilpin and his wife Matilda. The Gilpins were a family of considerable antiquity in their native Cumberland, and lived at Scaleby Castle. There was a long tradition of aesthetic interests in the family. The father, for instance, was a notable amateur draughtsman, and Sawrey Gilpin's elder brother. Rev William Gilpin (17241804), was both an influential education reformer as well as a highly influential writer on art, espousing the ideal of the Picturesque, which lead to the exploration of the remoter parts of the United Kingdom by many artists in search of the sublime. Sawrey Ciilpin himself received his

first lessons from his father before being sent to London where he was trained initially by Samuel Scott, the marine painter. His interests however lay more in the painting of animals, a field where he rapidly established a strong reputation under the patronage of the Duke of Northumberland. At some point around 1780 (Coombs, op cit, suggests as early as 1770, the date he gives for the present paintings) he began a long association with Col. Thomas Thornton which was to last for two decades and more. Thornton's taste in art reflected his interests as a field-sportsman, and for him Gilpin produced some of the most memorable images of that sportobsessed age. Gilpin continued to exhibit paintings executed for Thornton at the RA until at least 1792. His reputation during his lifetime was as the only serious rival to George Stubbs. He frequently collaborated with other artists, including Joseph Harington, Johann Zoffany, Philip Reinagle, Henry Walton, George Garrard, Cieorge Romney, William Hodges, Richard Ciosway, and, rather surprisingly, Joseph Mallord William Turner.


A PAIR O F O P A L I N E A N D G I L T - B R O N Z E VASES

continued

A pair of Charles X gilt-bronze and opaline

of Bercy, Choisy and Saint-Louis.

glass vases each with a milk-white baluster

During the Empire period, neo-classicism

body with a gilt-bronze collar and finely

remained strongly influential to the

wrought neo-classical ornament, the

decorative arts with simple, balanced forms

intricately chased double serpent handles

and pure, symmetrical lines reflecting the

looping at the top of the vases with the

contemporary predilection for Greek,

tapering bodies descending in a gentle

Roman, Etruscan and Egyptian culture.

curve to the tightly curled tips of the

Opaline vases were often applied with

tails. The socles and square bases are

finely chased and engraved gilt-bronze

cast with leaves.

mounts with inspiration for their designs being drawn from antique leitmotifs:

French, circa

serpents being particularly popular and

1825

Height: 10'/2 m / 2 6 . 5 cm

also eagles, griffins, laurel and acanthus

During the Empire period there were

serpents on the vases illustrated here

three major glass factories: Montcenis

provide a perfectly delicate and simple

au Creusot, Saint Louis and Voneche in

form for the handles that complement the

Belgium which was transferred to Baccarat

Grecian purity of this pair of vases.

leaves. Indeed the bodies of the double

after the Treaties of Paris. By 1 7 8 2 the glass produced by these manufacturers could rival that of the Venetian, English and Bohemian makers, hitherto the major exponents of quality glassware. Opaline glass first appeared in the Empire period, when Baccarat succeeded in reinvigorating the production techniques developed in 16th century Venice and 18th century Germany of making opaque milky-white glass, known as opaline glass or, more correctly, 'cristal d'opale' in conjunction with the annual exhibitions, 'des Produits de I'industrie'. The production of opaline glass became extremely popular in the Restauration period providing an alternative and, in some ways, a rival to porcelain. The different colours are achieved by the dissolving of metallic oxides in the molten glass. The action of successive re-heating and re-cooling is what causes the relative degrees of opacity. Under the Empire until around 1820 milk-white 'cristal d'opale' tended to be opalescent, luminous and translucent, evolving in the 1820's and 1830's to a more opaque colour due to the continuous experiments of the manufacturers, for example by adding arsenic acid. The edition of Le joimml Modes

des Dames

et des

dated 15 January 1824, stated the

following: 'On a donne aux dames, en cadeau de Jour de I'An, beaucoup de cristaux colores en blanc laiteux dit opale; en rose dit hortensia, en bleu dit turquoise et en vert emeraude.' (S Faniel, Le Siecle,

19eme

Paris, 1957, p 126). Among the

important French manufacturers producing opaline glass of various colours were those

94


A PAIR OF E M P I R E

CANDLESTICKS

A fine pair of gilt bronze Empire candlesticks, the socles and stems decorated in the neo-classical style with overlapping palmettes each with a quatrefoil motif at the centre. The circular bases are decorated with three finely chased low relief vignettes depicting a fountain flanked by swans. French, circa

1810

Height: 13 in / 32 cm

95


•V

96


A RUSSIAN M A R Q U E T R Y C A R D

TABLE

A particularly fine late 18th century

Russian territory expanded, the arts and

that stands as a testament to the high level

Russian card table, the closed top surface

sciences flourished, and many of the great

of skill already present in what was as yet

inlaid with burr birch and having an

palaces were built. So significant were the

a young industry. While highly pictorial

elaborate central marquetry medallion.

advances made in this period, it would be

examples survive, depicting historical or

The top opens to reveal a richly decorated

remembered as 'the magnificent age.'

topographical subjects, the most favoured designs were geometric patterns, interlacing

interior. The border is inlaid with a motif of running strawberries and finely figured

Closely linked to the construction of new

and stylised naturalistic motifs, the latter

tulip w o o d 'guinea' wells. The frieze is

palaces in Russia is the history of furniture

being displayed here. A feature that

decorated on all sides with swags of

manufacture. So many luxurious new

distinguishes the work of Russian cabinet-

strawberries and palmettes of birch w o o d .

buildings required appropriate furnishings,

makers from their Western counterparts is

The table stands on square tapering

but without a significant source in Russia

their departure from strictly neo-classical

legs inlaid with simulated fluting at the

itself, the majority in the early period was

patterns and designs. W h i l e their work

capital and terminating in brass sabots. The

imported from Europe. However, once the

does of course refer to these established

marquetry is in a fine state of conservation

need was established, Russia would soon

motifs, their interpretations, such as the

and retains much of its original staining.

develop her o w n cabinet-making industry,

entwined vine of strawberries seen here,

the significant growth of which can be seen

have a far more intimate and bucolic nature.

Russian, circa

1790

in the records of the Lepke sales, held in

Height: 30 in / 76 cm

Berlin on behalf of the Soviet authorities on

A further distinguishing feature of the

W i d t h : 38 in / 96 cm

6-7 November 1928 and 4-5 June 1929.

work of Russian cabinet-makers is their

Depth: 19 i n / 4 8 cm

The number of lots of Louis X V furniture

use of different indigenous woods when

(pre-1770) in Russian sales is three times

making furniture. As there was a taste for

D u r i n g the second half of the 18th century,

that of furniture made later, suggesting a

timbers with a very rich figure and grain,

Russia was to witness an unrivalled

decline in furniture imports post-1770.

Karelian birch was particularly popular. This timber is remarkable for the fact that

program of palace building, particularly

the entire tree has the mottled appearance

under the enlightened rule of Catherine the

Fine quality furniture made in Russia

Great (1762-1796). O n 28 June, 1762,

during the last quarter of the 18th century

found in other woods only in the lower trunk and roots. The consequently highly

Catherine dethroned her husband, Peter III,

can be divided into four groups: painted

thus beginning a thirty-four year reign that

furniture, carved and gilded pieces, carved,

ornamental appearance of the wood

w o u l d see her country become not only a

painted and gilded pieces, and marquetry

assured its popularity.

modern state, but a power equal to the

furniture. The veneered marquetry

most significant of her European

furniture produced by Russian cabinet-

neighbours. D u r i n g her sovereignty.

makers during this period is of a quality

SourLC: Aiuoinc (^hencN'icre: Russuin i-uvftitifrc, WciJenfcld & Nicolsoii. l ondon. I9SX.

97


A L O U I S X V B U R E A U DE

DAME

A particularly good l.oiiis X V bureau de dame. The fall front opens to reveal an interior fitted with four serpentine drawers and pigeon holes. The three lower drawers stand above elegant tapering cabriole legs and the whole is mounted with finely cast lacquered brass moimts having elegant foliate designs and scrolling cartouches. I'he finely cut veneers of purple heart and tulipwood are laid in quarter patterns and have a rich patina. French,

circa 1750

Height: 38 in / 97 cm W i d t h : 397i in / 100 cm Depth: 197.. i n / 5 0 cm

\

f

t i T> -

V

W

^


A PAIR OF GILT GHSSO

TORCHERES

An unusual pair of German early 18th century miniature torcheres in the English taste, having gesso decorated tops and waisted hexagonal stems supported by a tripod o f ' S ' scroll feet. German, circa

1720

Height: 34 in / 86 cm Top: 10 in / 25 cm

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A RED JAPANNED DRESSING

A rare Queen Anne red japanned dressing table mirror, the mirror having an elaborate scrolled cresting decorated with gilt birds in a stylised landscape. The fall is decorated with a chinoiserie village scene and opens to reveal drawers and pigeonholes. The serpentine fronted frieze below has a single drawer that opens to reveal the original similarly japanned boxes. English, circa Height: 4672 Width: 21 in Depth: 12 in

1710 in / 118 cm / 53 cm / 30 cm

PROVENANCE:

The Bute familv Imported lacquer, like porcelain, silk and spices, caused a sensation throughout Europe and dramatically increased the volume of international trade. The first lacquer to arrive was in the form of large folding panels, known as coromandel screens, which were often separated and applied to other pieces of furniture. However, the high cost and scarcit)' of lacquer, combined with an everexpanding demand for Oriental wares, led to the development of European 'japanning' in imitation of Oriental lacquer. Japanned furniture is decorated with shellac, seed-lac or gum-lac, secreted from the insect coccus lacca, which when dissolved in alcohol may be coloured and applied in numerous layers as a varnish. Red is one of the rarest pigments while the most common seems to have been black, as it is dominant among surviving examples. In areas where relief is required, the surface may be buik up in sawdust and gum arabic prior to its gilding with chinoiserie designs. Japanned furniture in the early 1700's was practically identical in form to contemporary walnut examples given that the fashion of the day did not require a piece to emulate anything other than the surface decoration of oriental lacquerware. Furthermore, the construction of japanned furniture was indistinguishable from conventional examples, the carcasses having been constructed from deal or oak. Prior to the application of lacquer, the finer pieces were veneered in order to obtain a smoother surface without the rough joins of the carcass. Should the lacquer have been applied directly onto the oak, the inevitable expansion and contraction of the wood would have caused the lacquer to crack.

100

MIRROR

Japanned furniture first appeared in England during the 1660's at the time of the Restoration of the Monarchy, when it became so fashionable that in 1688 Stalker and Parker published A Treatise of japanning and Varnishing, detailing recipes and designs for the rendering of 'japan' work. This provided both professionals and amateurs with an understanding of the art of japanning as well as details of prototype chinoiserie designs. By the reign of Queen Anne, japanning had become a highly desirable embellishment to an enormously wide variety of furniture and this dressing mirror would have been a sumptuous addition to the closet of any fashionable lady.


A D U T C H M A H O G A N Y C L O C K AND B A R O M E T E R

COMPENDIUM

A fine mid 18th century rococo Dutch

To the right of the stick is a 'double' or

mahogany clock and barometer

'contra' barometer, based on a design by

barometer, a mirror, a clock and a

compendium. At the centre there is a mirror

Robert Hooke, which involved the use of a

thermometer within one frame was not

which is surmounted by a clock and framed

double tube, and oil as well as mercury, in

uncommon in the 18th century. In fact it

by four different forms of barometer.

an endeavour to make the barometer more

was a rather practical arrangement, as this

The combination of as many things as a

easily readable by magnifying the scale, and

extract from an early 18th century

Two barometers are signed by the maker

to improve portability. Here again the scale

advertisement for the work of English

Bianchi,

is typically Dutch, of 3 6 figures, running

barometer maker John Patrick testifies:

Amsterdam

Dutch, circa

1760

from 16 to 0 to 2 0 . A further variation of

Height: 4 9 in / 125 cm

this type can be seen to the left of the

Width: 2872 i n / 7 2 cm

mirror plate, though this consisting of four

While the Rococo style was at its height in

Amontons, and again measured on the

popular in 18th century Holland.

a looking glass commodiously plac'd on the same frame, between the barometer and thermometer, tuhereby gentlemen and ladies at the same time they dress, may accommodate their habit to the weather an invention not only curious, but also profitable and pleasant.

mahogany barometer and clock

The compendium also contains an angle

However, to find a compendium of as many

compendium, with its continuous decoration

barometer, to the immediate left of the

as five barometers suggests a commercial

of lively, asymmetric rocaille mouldings

mirror, in which the tube is bent just below

rather than domestic application. When we

evocative of waves and foliage, is typical of

the point to which the mercury can fall,

consider the huge variety of barometers

the high rococo. It is a particularly fine

thus magnifying any movement. The

used and, in turn, the various different

example of the way in which this

register plate again conforms to the Dutch

scales of measurement, combined with the

imaginative style, inspired for the most part

36 figure scale, though here made rather

extremely fine carving, it seems likely that

by nature, found expression in Holland.

unconventionally symmetrical, running

the compendium may well have been a

from 18 to 0 to 18. This unconventional

showpiece for Bianchi, a work intended to

However, what makes this piece particularly

scale appears again at the bottom of the

impress and display the extent of the

interesting is its combination of so many

compendium, below a square barometer

maker's skill, rather than to sell as an

different types of barometer. Since Evangelista

after the design of Jean-Dominique Cassini.

individual object.

the 1730's in France, it would be some time before the Dutch developed a taste for it, and even then its popularity was short-lived.

tubes, after a design by Guillaume Dutch 3 6 figure scale. In contradiction to English tastes, the contra was particularly

Dating from around 1 7 6 0 , this finely carved

Torricelli had first invented the mercury barometer in 1643, a number of alternative systems had been developed, many of which are on display here. To the immediate left of the mirror is a traditional stick barometer, of the closed cistern type, which retains its original turned ivory mercury reservoir, and a

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register plate signed by the maker, Bianchi, Amsterdam. Interestingly, a number of different scales also appear on this plate. On the left, descending in half-inch graduations, are the conditions: Heel Schoon (perfect weather). Vast Weer (stable weather), Mooy Weer (beautiful weather), Goed Weer (good weather), Verandert (changeable or variable), Regen of Wind (rain and wind), Veel Regen of Wind (much rain and wind). Storm (storm). Hen Storm (severe storm), and Orgaan (hurricane). Beside this runs the traditional inch scale, descending from 3 I to 2 7 (the higher number running parallel to the better conditions), which, in keeping with Dutch practice, is subdivided into a more accurate scale of 36 numbers, descending from 16(good) to 0 to 20(bad), 0 corresponding roughly to 2 9 . 5 on the inch scale, the mean average. A further scale to the right of the plate appears again to be an inch scale, though this descending from 3 0 to 2 7 .

102

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AN EMPIRE CHEVAL

MIRROR

A particularly good Empire period

mounts depicting palmette friezes, laurel

griffins are reminiscent of mounts

mahogany cheval mirror retaining its

leaves, swags and facing swans and griffins.

embellishing a mahogany console table by

original mercury plate. The inner

Pieces produced during the Empire are

Molitor made for Jerome Bonaparte, King

chamfered frame is decorated with

characterised by their bold architectural,

of Westphalia, between 1807-11, (see

alternate stylised floral and star ormolu

simple forms. They are uncluttered, straight

Bernard

mounts and is supported on two gilt metal

forward and quite masculine in feel. In this

Ulrich Leben, fig 32, p 166).

pivots. The outer supporting frame which

way they make a clear and dramatic

has a pediment cresting is elaborately

statement, embellished by finely chased

The lion's paw feet design of this mirror

mounted with neo-classical ormolu motifs

gilded mounts which are a very important

are used by Molitor frequently, for

and stands on square columns with gilt

and personal design feature of Molitor's

example on a console stamped B

metal candle arms. The whole is supported

work, appearing on his pieces way before

in the Musee du chateau de la Malmaison

Molitor

Exhibition catalogue,

Molitor

on scroll legs terminating in ebonised lion's

they became universally linked with the

(see Bernard

paw feet.

Empire period. The cheval mirror

fig 42, p 114). His work was clearly

illustrated here exemplifies this style with

individual as well as being not too

Attributed to Bernard Molitor

architectural frame surmounted by a

intrusive. Above all other factors Molitor

French, circa

classical pediment cresting and bold, strong

achieved success over this extended period

1810

Molitor

Exhibition catalogue

Height: 76'/i in / 195 cm

column supports. The gilt bronze mounts

because his work was reliably of

Width: 3572 in / 90 cm

of flower and star motifs and inward-facing

outstanding quality.

Depth: 2272 in / 57 cm Bernard Molitor was born in Betzdorf in Luxembourg and settled in Paris in the 1770's. He worked as an ebeniste and undertook various enterprising schemes such as marketing mahogany and walnut hand warmers for travellers and an insect killer. He eventually became a master in 1787. He subleased a workshop at the Arsenal and after his marriage in 1788 to Julie-Elisabeth Fessard, the daughter of the 'charpentier du roi', he moved to the rue de Bourbon (now rue de Lille). His clientele spanned the royal family, the aristocracy, state dignitaries and diplomats. The Revolution brought ruin to many and death at the guillotine. The ace Molitor held was that his cousin Michel had been actively involved in the storming of the Bastille, so with his help Bernard, though interrogated, managed to avoid arousing serious Revolutionary suspicions. After a brief closure during the Revolution and the reign of the Terror, Molitor's workshop reopened. Under the Directoire his business flourished again and he bought a house on the rue du Faubourg Saint-Honore. Over the following decades the Imperial policy of reinvigorating the furniture trade meant he was honoured with commissions from the Emperor Napoleon, King Jerome of Westphalia and many private noble collectors including the due de ChoiseulPraslin. Molitor's remarkable survival owes most to the fact that he managed to create a style that was always both simple and original. Although he produced pieces employing japanese lacquer, satinwood and mahogany were his favoured woods enhanced with his trademark gilt-bronze

104


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A N E M P I R E C E N T R E TABLE W I T H S P E C I M E N M A R B L E

TOP

A circular mahogany centre table, the frieze

Circular tabletops with intricate specimen

mounted with gilt bronze floral patera. The

marble inlay were produced in Italy and

particularly in Florence and Rome. While both centres employed a similar technique,

table is supported by three scroll legs that

France from the early 19th century, aided by

the styles differed significantly, the

are mounted with gilt-bronze acanthus leaf

advances in stone cutting and polishing

Florentines favouring flamboyant

ornament and terminate in finely carved

technology. Created almost exclusively for

decoration, involving representations of

claw feet. The legs are linked by a circular

the tourist market, such tops were a typical

birds, vases, flowers and fruit. The

mahogany platform and the whole is

souvenir of the G r a n d Tour, a variety of

R o m a n s on the other hand preferred more

supported on a concave tripod plinth, standing

bases being created to carry them.

restrained, abstract patterns. K n o w n as commesso,

on bun feet with casters. The table has an

which translates as joined

A similar, though slightly larger Italian

together, they generally involved a large

tabletop of around the same date is on display

section of marble surrounded by banded

in London's Natural History M u s e u m .

borders, which contained abstract

Height: 31 in / 79 cm

Tabletops with marble inlay have been

were made popular in the late 16th

Diameter: 3974 in / 100 cm

produced in Italy since the 16th century.

century by the likes of Jacopo Vignola

exceptional circular specimen marble top. The table: French, circa 1810

patterns. Based on antique examples, they

The top: Italian, circa 1810

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(1507-73). Marble has been admired since

Similarly, state monopolies would later be

impression of marble, yet without the cost.

antiquity, the Greeks mining large

imposed on the French marble industry

As is typical of such pieces, the top

quantities for use in sculpture and

during the reigns of Louis' X I V and XV.

includes specimens of minerals other than

architecture, though for the most part only

This practice, combined with the relative

marble, such as jasper and granite for

plain white Pentelicus marble, extracted

scarcity and high price of marble, assured

example. Geologically, the term marble

from the Attic mountains. W i t h the

its exclusivity.

refers solely to metamorphosed limestone or rather limestone rock that contains at

R o m a n s came a deeper fascination, which The significant status afforded to the use of

least fifty percent crystallised limestone

polychromatic types, much of which was

marble is well illustrated by four specimen

carbonates in the form of calcite or

found in the newly colonised Gallic

panels of marbling in the Victoria and

aragonite. Commercially however, the term

territories. So strong was their adulation in

Albert museum, by Thomas Kershaw

applies to just about any rock that can be

fact that all quarries w o u l d be placed

(1819-98), of around 1860. Kershaw was

polished and used for decorative purposes.

included the use of naturally

under state ownership, and a Prefect

amongst the leading lights in the field of

appointed to ensure that the finest pieces

marbling during the period, a process

be reserved for the state and Caesar.

whereby surfaces are painted to give the

0


A C H A R L E S X BRASS G O T H I C

STOOL

An Linusiuil Chnrles X brass x-frame chair,

French, cirai

the back taking the form of a CJothic trefoil

Height of back: 30 in / 76 cm

1825

arch. The back rails and handles are

Height of seat: I 8 in / 46 cm

surmounted by turned boldly modelled

Width: 24 i n / 6 1 cm

tinials. The legs have fluted edges and

Depth: 19 in / 48 cm

foliate patera. N o w upholstered in buttoned brown suede. Attributed to the Marchand Menuisier Antoine Lesage

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A PAIR OF HALF-BOTTLE

CARRIERS

A pair of late 19th century oak and silver-plate half-bottle carriers each having a boldly cast carrying handle and a removable carrier for the bottles. English, circa

1900

Height: 7 in / 18 cm Diameter: 12 in / 30 cm

109


A PAIR

OF

LOUIS

XV

FAUTEUILS

A fine quality pair of Louis X V gilt\vot)d fauteuils profusely carved with foliate and scroll ornament, the top rail embellished with a shell Hanked by acanthus leaves. The chair has scroll arms and cabriole legs with a carved heart motif at the knee. The legs terminate in a shell foot. Attributed to Jean Baptiste Tilliard I French, circa 1750 Seat height: 17 in / 43 cm Back height: 38 in / 97 cm Width: 27 in / 69 cm Depth: 24 in / 61 cm

m.

-


Traditionally, Parisian furniture production was concentrated around the rue de Clery and the rue de Bourbon Villeneuve, in the northern districts of Paris. The majority of chair makers in the area were of French origin. They worked in well-established family workshops, where traditional techniques were passed down from father to son. This was why the menuisiers en meuble were not quick to innovate and set styles.

signature, on pieces which do not bear the Tilliard stamp. This is a view that B Pallott L'art du siege au XVI11 erne siecle en France contests; due to the number of other menuisiers who used the motif and worked in the northern district in 1750.

It was obligatory to stamp pieces of furniture which were commissioned for the Royal Court, by the 'Garde Meuble de la Couronne'. Stamps were not necessary on pieces which were not Royal commissions. Without a substantive provenance which may relate back to a record in the menuisiers books, a piece of furniture can only be attributed by looking closely at where and how motifs were used. These findings arc then compared to the motifs on stamped examples. It is thus through a particular repertoire of motifs that pieces of furniture are attributed to a particular menuisier.

The cartouche on the chairs illustrated here which bears the heart motif, consists of opposing ' C scrolls which curve down the knee around stylised scallop shells and terminate in vertical laurel leaf swags. The heart is raised and its corners are very curvaceous, with recessed edges, the centres concave and the tops and bottoms convex, so sculpted to ensure that the motifs are clearly seen. It seems slightly unusual that these chairs only have the heart motif on the knees, rather than the more prominent position on the apron and top rail and / or on the knees. However the heart being slightly raised with a recessed edge is absolutely typical of a Tilliard heart motif. This motif was widely used by several workshops each having their own particular style which differs from chair to chair.

The heart motif is one that is often seen. It is normally positioned on the knees, top rail and apron of chairs. The majority of chairs with this motif relate to the Tilliard workshops, Pierre Kjellberg Le Mohilier Frangais du XVlIIetne siecle writes that it can generally be taken as a second

Only a few used the motif regularly and even fewer who combined it with other motifs such as the scallop shells on the aprons and top rails. Nicolas Heurtaut who is known to have collaborated with Jean Baptiste Tilliard, also used such combinations.

The chairs are clearly designed to be a pair, as although they are not decorated symmetrically, they do reflect each other when positioned side by side. This may hark back to their original function in the room, positioned to the sides of a console table, perhaps a fireplace or a doorway. The combination of the heart motif, the scallop shell, floral sprigs and acanthus leaves is seen on a sofa in the Metropolitan Museum, New York. The sofa is stamped by Jean Baptiste Tilliard and bears exact copies of the cartouches on the knees from this pair of chairs, on the apron and shoulders. The centre of the top rail is crowned with a scallop shell with sprigs flowing from it; the sofa is dated around 1750-60. The similarities between these chairs and the sofa mentioned above are significant. Direct comparisons between them can be seen, particularly the repeated heart motif and the scallop shell. The floral elements of the sofa are more substantial than those on the chairs; as one would expect on such a significantly larger piece of furniture. This distinct combination of styles and motifs do not appear on any other chairs by the other menuisier mentioned above. On the basis of the above findings, we attribute these chairs to the hand of Jean Baptiste Tilliard I.

1 I


A D I R E C T O I R E T R I G T R A C TABLE

A Directoire ' a c a j o u m o u c h e t e ' trie trac

French, cirai

table w i t h spring release p i v o t i n g drawers

H e i g h t : 2772 in / 7 7 c m

at each end. T h e t o p reverses t o reveal a

W i d t h : 4372 in / 110 c m

card table lined w i t h baize. T h e interior is

D e p t h : 21'/i in / 5 7 c m

veneered in e b o n y a n d has a t r a d i t i o n a l stained ivory b a c k g a m m o n well. B e l o w the frieze there is a slide w h i c h removes t o present a b o a r d w i t h chess o n o n e side a n d chequers o n the other. T h e table stands o n square t a p e r i n g legs w i t h a brass collar at the c a p i t a l a n d t e r m i n a t i n g in brass sabots w i t h castors.

112

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A PAIR O F F A U T E U I L S BY

BELLANGE

A pair of Empire mahogany fauteuils, having scroll arms carved at the back with a stylised laurel leaf surmounted by an open anthemion. The arm terminates at the seat with a scroll issuing from a foliate scroll. The fauteuils stand on sabre legs front and back with the front seat rail being gently bowed. The chairs retain a good original patina. Stamped Bellange French, circa 1810 Height: 37 in / 94 cm Width: 24 i n / 6 1 cm Depth: 19 in / 48 cm Pierre Bellange was born around 1760 and became a 'maitre menuisier' in 1788. He

managed to survive successfully and even flourish through the turbulent times of the end of the 'ancien regime,' through the Revolution and the Empire to end his days in the exalted position of being 'ebeniste du Roi' to Louis-Philippe in 1844. Throughout his career his work was always sought after and he seems to have enjoyed a life free from the usual turmoil of bankruptcy or worse that afflicted most of his generation. With immaculate timing he moved into 'ebenisterie' when merely being a 'menuisier' did not suffice and he made partnerships with equal skill. If we look back on his career we see that he held a position amongst the front ranks of those who fashioned the decorative arts of the earlv 19th centurv.

Though he produced many fine pieces in all styles his work during the Empire period is probably his finest. Indeed he stamped very little of his work and it is nearly always to be found on chairs from this epoch, and always those made in mahogany. The fauteuils here illustrated at first glance may appear to be archetypal Empire however the carving of the arms is exceptionally expressive and typical of the man. Equally the bow front and the subtly carved double arch at the top of the side rails where they meet the top rail is exquisitely drawn, even the execution of the sabre legs manifests the work of a craftsman whose oeuvre exceeds that of his peers.

I 15


A

19TH

CENTURY

SHAGREEN

A remarkable William IV shagreen veneered brass table telescope having a view finder and standing on a finely modelled brass tripod with turned wooden handles for fine adjustment.

Signed W & S Jones, 30 Holbom, English, circa

London

1820

Height to centre of telescope: 19 in / 5 0 cm Length of telescope: 2 8 in / 7 2 cm

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A M A H O G A N Y T E L E S C O P E ON STAND

An outstanding large-scale brass telescope stamped C J Gaupp, Hong Kong, standing on a tripod mahogany stand with pierced supports with gothic ornament. The height is adjusted by a weighted central column with a brass winding handle. French, circa 1900 Maximum height: 61 in / 155 cm Length: 6 0 in / 153 cm

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117


A PAIR O F B E R G E R E S

BY

VINATIER

A rare pair of Louis XVI giltwood bergeres having coved backs with acorn finials, carved on the apex of the top rail with a guilloche motif and on the face of the rail with an egg and dart motif which is echoed at the base of the back. The backs are flanked by free standing fluted columns from which issue the square cross section arms carved on each face with a recessed panel. The arm supports are fluted baluster columns carved at the base with laurel leaves. The bergeres have bowed front rails carved with similar ornament to the back and standing on turned fluted front legs. ^ ' /j •'I 5J i

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French, 1775 Stamped Vimtier Height: 37 in / 94 cm Width: 2172 i n / 5 4 . 5 cm Depth: 20 i n / 5 1 cm

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Gilles Hyacinthe Vinatier; Maitre, 22 September 1785 Vinatier's workshop was situated in the rue de Clery. He produced chairs in the Louis XVI style of which he was a chief exponent and, although not a prolific maker, his quality of workmanship was unquestionably high, as can be exemplified bv the chairs illustrated here. Many of his pieces show considerable ingenuity and imagination in their design fully exploiting modern neo-classical design motifs: fluted and reeded legs, tapered feet, columns and capitals inset with paterae, delicate and curvilinear moulding and friezes of entrelacs and egg and dart motifs.

••

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The elegant 'flying buttress' arms with richly carved and ornamented arm supports, lend a lightness and delicate balance to these chairs, which makes them a particularly fine example of neo-classical chair design. Similar examples to these chairs are in the collection of the Musee des Arts Decoratifs, Paris.


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A CHARLES X

BUREAU

A large scale C h a r l e s X r o s e w o o d b u r e a u plat with elegant b o x w o o d stringing a n d inlaid c o r n e r q u a d r a n t s of stylised floral motif. T h e t o p cantilevers back t o reveal a fall f r o n t leather w r i t i n g surface. Below the fall, at t h e sides are t w o disguised d r a w e r s , o n the left lined in m a h o g a n y a n d on the right having a r e m o v a b l e pen tray a n d l o w e r c o m p a r t m e n t . T h e t o p is veneered in fine quality r o s e w o o d . T h e b u r e a u is s u p p o r t e d on scroll legs inlaid at the o u t e r edge w i t h b o x w o o d stringing a n d scroll a n t h e m i a w h i c h also have gilt b r o n z e w i n g e d lion's head capitals a n d c l a w feet. T h e e n d s s u p p o r t e d o n stepped plinths in r o s e w o o d . French, circa

1825

H e i g h t : 3 3 in / 84 cm W i d t h : 5 7 in / 145 cm D e p t h : 3 1 ' / . in / 8 0 cm

121


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122


AN E M P I R E M A H O G A N Y B O N H E U R DU J O U R

An Empire mahogany bonheur du jour.

T h e piece stands on two double baluster

T h e upper section has two long drawers

turned legs, the capital, centre and foot

above two shorter drawers each having a

mounted with finely chased bronze. T h e

machined gilt bronze handle. T h e top is

back is supported on square pilasters. T h e

decorated with a cresting in the form of a

whole is supported on a plinth modelled

pair o f scrolls flanking a ring. This

with a recessed demi-lune at the front.

doubles as a disguised handle for the dressing mirror and pleated silk screen

Throughout the piece is veneered in finely

that is hidden within the frame. At the

figured flame mahogany.

centre of the drawer section is a gilt bronze button which when pressed releases a tambour writing slide which retains its original finely gilt tooled green M o r o c c o leather.

French, circa

1810

Height: 3 7 in / 9 4 cm Width: 3 0 in / 7 6 cm Depth: 2 1 in / 5 3 cm

123


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124


A RUSSIAN D I N I N G

TABLE

A highly unusual D-ended early 19th century extending dining table veneered throughout in highly figured birch. Extended the table has two sabre legs which descend to support the ends. Closed, with one leaf, the table is supported by four scroll legs with bronzed foliate capitals and similarly bronzed ram's heads at the base. The whole is supported on a stepped circular platform with four scroll feet terminating in bronzed blocks with castors. Probably Russian, circa

I 820

With four later leaves Height: 297: in / 75 cm Width: 47 in / 104 cm M a x i m u m length: 135 in / 343 cm Diameter at minimum size: 47 in / 119 cm

125


A MINIATURE CHINESE E X P O R T BUREAU

BOOKCASE

A very rare mid 18th century Chinese

Europeans were fascinated by the exoticism

cabinet and on the pediment have been

miniature bureau boolccase, the fail front

of lacquer and demand for this vivid

finished in blind fret lacquer, a very rare

and doors carved with fretwork lacquer

ornament was especially high.

technique usually found on small objects.

depicting rural scenes with two drawers in

The detail is so exceptional that the piece

the base, the fall and top opening to reveal

The technique of lacquering involves the

might be associated with an Imperial

small drawers and pigeon holes

application of numerous layers of varnish,

commission.

surmounted by three finials.

taken from the sap of the rhiis

vernicifera

tree, onto wood, leather or fabric. Chinese, circa

1760

Height: 4 4 in / 112 cm

Changing its molecular form when exposed to air, the varnish is applied layer after

Width: 19 i n / 4 8 cm

layer until a hard crust has formed. This

Depth: 14 in / 36 cm

can be treated in one of two manners: First, with raised or gilded ornament and

A remarkable quantity of furniture was

secondly, with incised lacquer, where the

produced in Canton between 1730 and

ornament is cut into the surface.

1860 for export to Europe. Chinese craftsmen copied the many forms of

This miniature bureau bookcase is of

European furniture and particularly the

particular interest because it employs

English bureau and bureau bookcase,

two methods of lacquerwork as well as

embellishing them according to the want

incorporating panels of incised bamboo.

of the client.

Furthermore, the compartments within the

126


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--


A MALACHITE MANTEL

CLOCK

A rare Charles X gilt bronze and malachite mantel clock for the Russian market, in richly figured malachite mounted with a gilt bronze dial which has an elaborate foliate border. The centre of the clock is mounted with a finely painted enamel plaque depicting the Hermitage in St Petersburg. The clock plinth has a gilt bronze mount decorated with classical motif and stands on similar feet decorated with putto heads. France, circa 1835 Height: 1372 i n / 3 4 cm Width: 7 in / 18 cm

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128


A PAIR OF P O R P H Y R Y

PEDESTALS

A pair of mid 19th century porphyry pedestals having white marble capitals and feet. The pedestals are supported on verde antico plinths. Italy, circa

1850

Height: 40 in / 102 cm W i d t h : 12 i n / 3 1 cm Depth: 8 in / 20 cm

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THE BORGHESE

WARRIOR

A large scale bronze model of the Borghese warrior executed with fine detail and retaining much of its original patina. The figure stands on its original rouge griotte plinth mounted in gilt bronze with neo-classical motif. French, circa 1720 The sword and shield 19th century replacements. Overall height: 15'h in / 65 cm Overall length: 23 in / 58.5 cm Overall width: 18'A in / 47 cm This fine bronze statuette is an early 18th century French version of one of the most celebrated sculptures of antiquity: the Borghese Warrior. Described as 'tout ce que Ton connoit de plus beau dans I'antique', the original Greek marble, which stands just short of two metres in length from head to heel, is first recorded in 1611 after its discovery at Kettuno, near Porto d'Anzio. The piece was subsequently acquired by Cardinal Borghese, and by 1650 was housed in a room named after it in the villa Borghese. Soon after its discovery, a bronze cast had been made for Charles 1 (now at Windsor), which in itself became one of the most famous sculptures in England. A further cast was installed at Wilton for the fourth Earl of Pembroke, where it was described as 'the most famous statue of all that antiquity hath left'. This version now stands in the stairwell at Houghton Hall in Norfolk, a gift from the eighth Earl to Sir Robert Walpole. Further versions could be found in the gardens of Herrenhausen at Hanover, the Duke of Bedford's Woburn Abbey in Bedfordshire, and at the Duke of Dorset's Knole in Kent. In 1807, the original was purchased by Napoleon Bonaparte and sent to France to be installed in the Salle d'Apollon in the Musee Napoleon. However, the work found such favour that, soon after, it was moved to another room named after it. The work was admired particularly for its highly naturalistic rendering of anatomy, so much so that it was used as a model in many of the Academies, a version appearing in Henry Singleton's painting of the general assembly of the Royal Academicians in London in 1795. Equally, smaller versions were made for both artists and collectors, the Borghese themselves once owning a small gilded statuette.

130

While often assumed to be a gladiator, there has been some debate as to the precise nature of the figure. Many believe that as he is shown looking upwards, as if fighting an enemy on horseback, he is most almost certainly a warrior, to whose distinguished valour a statue was raised. Equally, it seems unlikely that a gladiator would have been depicted naked, a custom generally reserved for dead heroes. Others suggest he may be a discobolus, and while the original Greek figure does not hold a shield and sword, it is generally accepted that he once did. Whatever the case, enthusiasm for the piece has been unanimous throughout the ages, making it one of the most significant surviving models of antiquity. (c.f Haskell & Penny, Taste and the Antique, University Press, L o n d o n 1981 pp 221-4)

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131


A RARE INLAID MARBLE

VASE

An exceptional and very rare late 18th century inlaid marble vase. The cover has a beaded edge and has a border of specimen marbles in alternate ovals and circles. The finial is finely carved with acanthus leaves. The vase is flanked with scroll handles carved in low relief with foliate decoration and terminating in bacchic heads. The body of the vase has at its apex boldly carved flutes, supported by a border of acanthus leaves and surmounted by a string of inlaid semi precious stones. The centre of the vase is inset with four micromosaic panels after the Antique, each in grisaille against a blue ground with a gilt metal beaded border and framed in jasper. Between the micromosaic panels are swags and strings of further semi precious stones and marbles. The base of the vase is carved with alternate acanthus and laurel leaf motif and is supported on a spirally fluted stem, cabled at the top and with a border of laurel leaves at the base. The vase stands on a stepped plinth. The upper section is inlaid with marble and the lower is of porphyry. Attributed to Nicola de Vecchis, circa Height: 16 in / 41 cm Width: 8 in / 2 0 cm

1800

Nicola de Vecchis came from an old family of mosaicists. At the end of the 18th century he was working in the Vatican mosaic workshop where it is documented there were a pair of two-handled micromosaic white marble and hardstone vases by him. These vases are believed to have been given by Pope Pius VII to Napoleon on the occasion of his coronation in 1804 and were recorded as being in the apartments of the Empress Josephine at Malmaison. These are now in the Gilbert Collection, Somerset House in London. Another pair of related vases are illustrated in Alvar Gonzalez-Palacio s book Fasto Romano, fig 2 0 6 , p 2 3 1 , also attributed to de Vecchis based on the Vatican archives where it mentions two vases in 1 795 with micromosaic panels and in the Etruscan style. The bodies of this pair are greater in size than the Malmaison pair and the vase we show here, nor do they have handles, but nonetheless the form, decoration and coloured mosaic and grisaille mosaic patterns of all three pairs bear strong similarities.

132

In the same room at Malmaison is a fireplace and clock by Giacomo Raffaelli with closely related micromosaic work. These distinctive vases have in the past been attributed to Raffaelli. It is only recentiv that the work of de Vecchis has

come to light. However, it is apparent from the documented pieces at Malmaison and other recorded micromosaic work that Raffaelli and de Vecchis must have worked together in certain instances.


••••

•••.I


T W O CHINESE BONE PAGODAS

Two rare Chinese export model pagodas in bone, one with five storeys, the other with seven. Each level is intricately carved with pierced walls and gallery with an intricately fluted roof hung with pendant bells. A small figure is carved at the centre of each room. The pagodas both stand within fenced stylised gardens with an intricately carved gateway, the larger with a group of figures carrying ceremonial batons. The pagodas retain their original pin stands and carrying cases. Chinese, circa 1850 Height of largest: 2 4 in / 61 cm Height of smallest: 18 in / 4 6 cm Chinese ivory and bone carving found a market in England almost as soon as trading-links had been established. The demand was such in fact that the various European countries involved established trading posts or 'factories' on Chinese soil, where goods would be procured and even produced specifically for export to the West. The principal centre for this practice was the city of Canton situated on the Pearl River delta near the South China Sea. Canton was culturally and economically the most important city in south China, and a hub of trade in all manner of artefacts, including ivory. Furthermore, Canton was and is today one of the three significant centres for ivory carving in China, the others being Beijing and Shanghai. The highly skilled craftsmen of Canton produced a myriad of intricately carved curios and ivory and bone ware that both fascinated and intrigued the Western market, at the highest levels. Such objects found their way into some of the most significant English collections. The Victoria & Albert Museum, for example, houses an elaborately carved and painted Canton ivory clockwork junk of 1800, a gift from Richard Hall, the head of the English factory during the period. A similar junk of the same period sits in the Principal Corridor in front of the Centre Room at Buckingham Palace, having been acquired by George IV. The Royal Collection houses a number of carved ivory objects, George IV, like his mother Queen Charlotte, exhibiting a passion for all things Oriental, which culminated in the Royal Pavilion, Brighton. Of the many exotic objects once housed in the Pavilion, a number found their wav into other Roval residences.

134

Along with the aforementioned ivory junk, a carved ivory pagoda sits in the Principal Corridor of Buckingham Palace, along with further though larger porcelain pagodas. Of all Chinese images, it is perhaps the pagoda that best evokes the enduring magic and mystery of the East, a view that finds credence when we consider their popularity in the West. By the middle of the 18th century, it had become fashionable amongst the landed gentry to have decorative buildings and follies erected in their gardens and estates, particularly of Oriental design. Perhaps the most notable English example is the pagoda at Kew Gardens of 1761-62, built as a surprise for Princess Augusta, the Dowager Princess of Wales and mother of George III. The designer. Sir William Chambers, had worked previously as an employee of the Swedish East India Company, during which time he spent several months in Canton. Whilst there he made architectural drawings of typical buildings which he later published as a book of Designs of Chinese Buildings (1757). His pagoda at Kew was very well received, and went on to inspire further examples, such as the three-storey version built at Alton Towers in the 1820's. Brought to China with Buddhism from India during the Han dynasty in the first century AD, pagodas formed a part of the Buddhist temple complex. The main building or Kondoh, which housed the

Buddhist images, was where the monks would study, train and live. The interiors were generally coated with gold leaf, the word 'Kondoh' meaning literally 'golden hall'. The pagoda was originally a type of reliquary, built above a tomb or crypt, which housed a sacred relic, often containing an altar and an image of Buddha, to facilitate worship. However, as time progressed, both the architecture and purpose of the pagoda would develop. Feudal rulers built pagodas to commune with immortals, believed to live in the clouds, while elsewhere they were used as lighthouses or watchtowers. By the seventh century, the pagoda, along with Buddhism, had reached South East Asia, where it found an equally enthusiastic response, and was similarly adapted for various uses. However, one of the most significant factors, in the development of the pagoda as symbolic of the East is surely the fact that so many of them have survived intact. Scattered all over Japan are numerous multi-storied pagodas that remain unscathed despite being shaken by frequent earthquakes throughout history. The reason for this is their ingenious design; the whole built around a central wood column to which each storey is attached. Oddly enough, this pole is not anchored in the earth, and in some cases does not even reach the ground, the weight of the structure being carried entirely by supporting pillars which form a porch on which the pagoda sits.


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133


AN I V O R Y G A M E S

BOX

A fine quality early 19th century ivory and bone Vizagapatam games box. The exterior is decorated with bands of ornamental scrolling and opens to form a chess board. The interior is fitted with silver-plate mounts and a cedar wood ground backgammon board. The interior is also fitted with three similarly decorated ivory caskets containing backgammon pieces and chess in ivory and horn. Indian, circa

1830

Closed: 18 in x 9 in / 46 cm x 23 cm Open: 18 in x 18 in / 4 6 cm x 4 6 cm

136


A G R O U P OF I V O R Y

OBJECTS

An unusual late 19th century bone model of a capstan. The readings are in English and bear the name Stork Kwant Sneek-Holhvtd. Circa 1880 Height: 107. i n / 2 6 . 5 cm

An intricately carved and turned mid 19th century ivorv tower thermometer. English, circa 1840 Height: 11 in / 28 cm

A mid 19th century ivory rose engine-turned ivory column thermometer having pierced gothic ornament. English, circa 1840 Height: 15 in / 38 cm

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A mid 19th century ivory rose engine-turned column thermometer having pierced gothic ornament and a cupola dome.

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A set of three early 18th century panels of Saint Cyr needlework depicting exotic animals and plants in bold colours, achieved in wool and silk. French, circa 1740 Framed height of all three panels: 73 i n / 1 8 5 . 5 cm Framed width of t w o panels: 53 in / 135 cm Framed width of smaller panel: 4 7 in / 119.5 cm


A PAIR O F C H I N O I S E R I E

VASES

An exceptional pair of large scale mid 19th

illustrated exhibit m a n y of the t r a d e m a r k

h a n d of the master. J a c o b Petit is o n e of

century porcelain vases d e c o r a t e d at the

J a c o b Petit characteristics, primarily the

t h o s e u n i q u e figures in d e c o r a t i v e arts

f r o n t w i t h chinoiserie vignettes depicting a

' t o u r de force' w h i c h is the m o d e l l i n g a n d

w h o s e w o r k carries with it a vision of the

c o u p l e r e a d i n g in an idyllic g a r d e n a n d a

e x e c u t i o n of the vases. T h i s is s u p p o r t e d by

w o r l d t h a t is uniquely their o w n a n d n o

couple f a s h i o n e d in a similar setting. T h e

the chinoiserie vignettes a n d followed by

m a t t e r h o w h a r d o t h e r s try t o e m u l a t e

reverse of each vase is d e c o r a t e d w i t h an

the o u t s t a n d i n g relief flowers t h a t a d o r n

they can never quite reach t h e heights

exotic still life. T h e h a n d l e s a r e f a s h i o n e d

every aspect of the vases. Even t h e rich

achieved by the real thing.

as e l a b o r a t e twisting b r a n c h e s in gilt. T h e

palette of the vases p o i n t s t o w a r d s the

bodies of t h e vases a r e lavishly enriched with p o l y c h r o m e applied floral g r o u p s in high relief. A t t r i b u t e d t o the J a c o b Petit factory French, circa

1840

Height: 18 in / 4 6 c m W i d t h : 14 in / 3 6 cm J a c o b M a r d o c h e e w a s b o r n in Paris in 1 7 9 6 a n d f o l l o w i n g his m a r r i a g e in 1 8 1 6 w i t h A n n e Adelaide Petit he k e p t only his christian n a m e a n d a d o p t e d the s u r n a m e of his s p o u s e a n d t h u s b e c a m e J a c o b Petit. After having studied p a i n t i n g in Paris he travelled t o Italy, Switzerland, G e r m a n y a n d E n g l a n d w h e r e he studied with a stage set designer. O n his r e t u r n t o France he published in 1 8 3 0 ' u n Receuil de d e c o r a t i o n s interieures'. H e then t u r n e d his a t t e n t i o n t o w a r d s porcelain m a n u f a c t u r e . T h e n e x t t w e n t y years s a w J a c o b Petit s o a r f r o m these h u m b l e b e g i n n i n g s t o a high p o i n t in 1 8 4 8 w h e n he e m p l o y e d 1 5 0 w o r k e r s directly a n d 6 0 as o u t w o r k e r s t o a low, a m e r e t w o y e a r s later, w h e n his kiln w a s d e s t r o y e d f o l l o w i n g b a n k r u p t c y . His business continued through many f u r t h e r trials a n d t r i b u l a t i o n s u p t o his d e a t h in 1 8 6 8 . His successful years w e r e t h e p r o d u c t of o v e r w h e l m i n g p o p u l a r s u p p o r t . T h e critics w e r e n o t in f a v o u r of his very idiosyncratic style. T h e y decried his ' c o n t o u r s bizarres' a n d 'difficiles.' H o w e v e r the public a d o r e d his eccentricity which w e n t in train with the exceptional quality of his w o r k . T h e f a n t a s y of his creation d r e w in influences f r o m his travels a n d f r o m his parallel e n t h u s i a s m s of t h e G e r m a n expression of the r o c o c o a n d oriental style. His t r i u m p h was to produce work that was both rooted in history a n d a completely novel a n d c o n t e m p o r a r y e x p r e s s i o n . So p o p u l a r w a s his w o r k t h a t it s p a w n e d a multiplicity of b o t h copyists a n d those w h o w e r e inspired by his style. Because of the high quality of his w o r k he f o u n d it impossible t o c o m p e t e with his plagiarists. T h e pair of vases here

140


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AN 18TH C E N T U R Y

MOTHER-OF-PEARL-CASKET

A rare Chinese Export box of exceptional size veneered in elaborately carved mother-of-pearl. Each face has shaped panels of flowering peony trees deeply cut and engraved. The panels are framed with an engraved diaper cut trellis and enclosed within a rope twist border. The back has less elaborate panels in a similar arrangement to the other sides. The box is fitted with a drawer to the bottom left hand side and retains finely engraved carrying handles. Chinese, circa 1800 Height: 9 in / 23cm Width: 14 in / 36 cm Depth: lO'A in / 26 cm Along with such exotic materials as ivory and tortoiseshell, mother-of-pearl fascinated westerners in the 18th century, and was thus used in large quantities by the European Canton based factories. The demand is well illustrated by the inventory of the fated Gotheborg, of the Swedish East India Company, which sank on its way back into Gothenburg harbour in 1745 taking almost four tons of mother-of-pearl to the bottom with her. Generally used for the production of small scale curios such as buttons and games pieces, as well as inlays, larger objects such as this do appear, though they are rare. As a means of defence, certain species of mollusc, such as the pearl oyster, found principally in Asia in warm tropical seas, the abalone of some Pacific regions and the fresh-water pearl mussel, found in the rivers of the United States and Europe, produce a substance called nacre. A secretion of the mantle, the mollusc lines the inside of its shell with this smooth, iridescent substance to protect its tender flesh. Equally, when an irritant finds its way into the shell, the mollusc reacts by coating it with successive layers of nacre, thus forming a pearl. The nacre lining of the shell itself is known as mother-of-pearl.

142


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MALI.ETT

DIRECTORS

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Director

Tarquin Bilgen Charles Mackinnon Ainshe Marchant

M A L L E T T AT B O U R D O N HOUSE LTD 2 Davies Street London W I K 3DJ Telephone: +44 (0)20 7629 2444 Fax: +44 (0)20 7499 2670 Thomas Woodham-Smith Henry Neville Director Felicity Jarrett Associate

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Mallett - Antique Furniture 2002  

Recently scanned from the Mallett catalogue archive. This antique catalogue was published in 2002

Mallett - Antique Furniture 2002  

Recently scanned from the Mallett catalogue archive. This antique catalogue was published in 2002

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