• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 7700

    Important English Furniture and Clocks

    22 January 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 98

    A CHARLES II WALNUT OYSTER-VENEERED, FLORAL MARQUETRY, FRUITWOOD AND ASH SIDE TABLE

    CIRCA 1680

    Price Realised  

    A CHARLES II WALNUT OYSTER-VENEERED, FLORAL MARQUETRY, FRUITWOOD AND ASH SIDE TABLE
    CIRCA 1680
    The rectangular crossbanded top with a moulded edge, inlaid with panels of flowers and foliage, the central oval with a pair of perching birds among tulips, carnations and other flowers, with a frieze drawer and spirally-turned legs joined by shaped X-stretchers and with later turned feet
    28¼ in. (72 cm.) high; 37½ in. (95 cm.) wide; 25 in. (63.5 cm.) deep


    Contact Client Service
    • info@christies.com

    • New York +1 212 636 2000

    • London +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    • Hong Kong +852 2760 1766

    • Shanghai +86 21 6355 1766

    The dressing-table, conceived in Louis Quatorze Roman fashion as part of a mirrored window-pier set, has its top richly parquetried with shell-shaped walnut veneers, and mosaiced with polychromed floral marquetry in ebony compartments. The central medallion, featuring Venus's doves perched amongst bouquets issuing from Roman acanthus, is wreathed by flowers in arched spandrel tablets; while more flowers appear at the centres and corners of its ribboned border, as well as on the frieze drawer and stretcher-tray. Similar Salmonic and vase-decked pillars feature on a floral japanned table at Lyme Park, Cheshire and also on a walnut table at Beningborough Hall; while a related medallion features on an ebony flowered dressing-table supplied in 1684 for Levens Hall and described by the Ludgate Hill cabinet-maker Thomas Pistor (father or son) as part of a set of 'Large wall[nit] flowerd Looking glass & Table and stands flowered' (A. Bowett, English Furniture: 1660-1714, Woodbridge, 2002, pp. 161, 118 and 116).

    The Croft family has a long association with north Herefordshire, stretching back to the 11th century, and Croft Castle bears witness to this, incorporating a number of different stages of development from the original medieval castle to extensive 18th remodelling in the 'Gothick' taste. Some of the walnut furniture had almost certainly been introduced in the late 17th century by Herbert Croft, M.P. for Herefordshire, created first Baronet in 1671. He married Elizabeth Archer, sister of the architect Thomas Archer, and embarked on a process of refurbishment at the castle. More recently however, the furnishing has continued, the late Lord Croft in particular purchasing 'gothick' pieces to complement the interiors.

    Special Notice

    No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 15% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.


    Provenance

    Shoppenhangers Manor, Maidenhead, Berkshire; sold R. Gorringe and Co, 25-27 May, 1965, lot 107. Michael, 2nd Baron Croft (1916-1997), Croft Castle, Herefordshire, sold by his Executors, Sotheby's, London, 6 June 2002, lot 48.


    Literature

    Illustrated in the Blue Room at Croft Castle, in Country Life, December 31, 1987, p.45.