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    Sale 7524

    Turin London Corfu The Collection of Giorgio Marsan and Umberta Nasi

    12 - 13 December 2007, London, King Street

  • Lot 20

    A CHINESE-EXPORT SILVER-MOUNTED SOLID HARDWOOD BUREAU

    CIRCA 1735

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A CHINESE-EXPORT SILVER-MOUNTED SOLID HARDWOOD BUREAU
    CIRCA 1735
    The hinged flap enclosing a fitted interior of pigeon-holes and drawers around a removable tabanacle enclosing a door flanked by pilasters with two mahogany-lined secret drawers behind, above two short and three long graduated drawers, on bracket feet with wood castors, the handles with pierced foliate backplates hallmarked with a lion passant and maker's mark 'JD' below an acorn
    42 in. (106.5 cm.) high; 37½ in. (95 cm.) wide; 19¾ in. (50 cm.) deep


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    The handsome bureau of fine-figured and rose-coloured Asian hardwood or padouk, is conceived in the George II 'modern' fashion featured in B. Langley's, City and Country Builder's and Workman's Treasury of Designs, 1740. Such Chinese padouk furnishings were highly prized in the dressing and reception rooms of fashionable bedroom apartments, which were decorated with Chinese silks and papers as well as with china-equipped tea-tables. It is likely to have been accompanied by a pier-glass in furnishing a window-pier, with its fall-front concealing a well fitted 'prospect', whose Roman triumphal-arch 'tabernacle' compartment is flanked by antique-fluted Doric pilasters. Its façade is embellished in the French 'pictuesque' manner with acanthus-wrapped and trellis-fretted cartouches or engraved eschutcheons, whose central lozenged compartments are garlanded with fruit-and-flowers, while the reed-scrolled handles display the shell-badge of the nature-deity Venus. It is possible that the 'prospect' drawers were once equipped with a silver toilet service, as the 'JD' maker's mark has also been recorded on a dressing-box dated to the mid-1730s (A. Grimwade, London Goldsmiths 1697-1937: Their Marks & Lives, London, 1982, no. 3632). A closely related handle pattern can also be found in an 18th century Birmingham brass-maker's catalogue (T. R. Crom, An Eighteenth Century English Brass Hardware Catalogue, Florida, 1994, p. 57. no. 386).

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