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    Sale 7627

    Dealing in Excellence: A Celebration of Hotspur and Jeremy

    20 November 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 149

    A GEORGE II BRASS-INLAID MAHOGANY TRIPLE-FLAP GAMES TABLE

    IN THE MANNER OF JOHN CHANNON, AFTER A DESIGN BY THOMAS POTTER, CIRCA 1740

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A GEORGE II BRASS-INLAID MAHOGANY TRIPLE-FLAP GAMES TABLE
    IN THE MANNER OF JOHN CHANNON, AFTER A DESIGN BY THOMAS POTTER, CIRCA 1740
    The rounded rectangular top crossbanded in padouk, each corner inlaid with an engraved brass cartouche surmounted by a shell, enclosing a chess and backgammon board, the second flap enclosing a green baize-lined playing-surface with four mahogany counter-wells, the third flap enclosing a green baize-lined writing-surface and with rising compartment with divisions, pigeon-holes and five mahogany-lined drawers, on cabriole legs, inlaid with husks, on pad feet with engraved brass cartouches
    29½ in. (75 cm.) high; 30 in. (76 cm.) wide; 14¾ in. (37.5 cm.) deep


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    The very ingenious window-pier bureau/games-table, executed in golden 'boulle' filigreed mahogany with columnar corners above Roman truss-scrolled pillar legs, reflects the George II French/antique style as favoured in the 1730s for fashionable display tea-tables of London parlours and reception dressing-rooms.

    Inlaid in Louis Quatorze 'Roman' fashion, the top displays a fine mahogany tablet framed in a brass-banded ribbon of dark olive wood, which ties triumphal spandrel cartouches of Berainesque 'Venus' shell badges wreathed in Roman acanthus. More golden fillets wreath the Arcadian reeded-moulding of the hinged top, as well as another two concealed underneath. Beneath its ogival-moulded cornice, the bureau-escutcheon features the festive mask of the Arcadian ruler Pan tied by ribbon-fretted foliage and framed in a brass-banded tablet, whose richly striated veneer recalls antique-fluting. Golden fillets issuing from the Ionic-waved volutes the leg-trusses tie pearl-beaded flowers that are framed by scalloped water-leaves; while their pad or 'round toe' feet are similarly encrusted with golden foliage. The top conceals inlaid chess and back-gammon boards and is supported on a hinged back leg when opened. Another leaf conceals a baize-lined card-table equipped with hollowed corner counter-dishes; while a third leaf conceals a baize-lined writing-table, whose rising 'harlequin' pop-up 'cartonnier' cabinet contains drawers and paper 'pigeon holes'.

    Related tables (one opened to reveal its raised 'cartonnier' and the other its inlaid games-boards) feature in the 1730s trade-sheet of the High Holborn cabinet-maker Thomas Potter, who in partnership with John Kelsey supplied furniture to Sir Richard Colt Hoare of Barn Elms in 1738 (C. Gilbert and T. Murdoch, John Channon and brass-inlaid furniture 1730-1760, London, 1993, p.19). The present table can also be related to a pier-table, concealing a 'harlequin' tea-tray, as featured in anther Potter pattern (C. Gilbert, Furniture at Temple Newsam House and Lotherton Hall, Leeds, vol. III, 1998, No.828). The centrepiece of Potter's trade-sheet was a boulle-enriched medal-cabinet, that in turn relates to a cabinet in the Victoria & Albert Museum; and to the Museum's finely engraved bookcases at Powderham Castle, Devon, which bear the date 1740 and signature of the cabinet-maker John Channon (d. 1779), who had established premises in St. Martin's Lane in 1737 (Gilbert and Murdoch, op. cit., figs. 133 and 4). In particular the cabinet's stand's truss-scrolled legs terminate in related boulle-inlaid and plinth-supported pads. Amongst other very closely related tables is one illustrated P. Thornton and D. Fitz-Gerald, 'Abraham Roentgen 'Englische Kabinettmacher' and some further reflections on the work of John Channon', Victoria & Albert Museum Bulletin, October 1966, pp. 137-147 and fig. 8. Abraham Roentgen from Neuweid formed part of the immigrant Moravian community, working in London in the early 1730s; and, like Channon, appear to have specialised in the manufacture of such ingenious furniture.

    Another closely related table may have been amongst the furniture introduced around 1740 to Keir House, Dunblane by John Keir (d. 1757) and sold by the late Archibald Stirling, Keir House, Dunblane; Christie's house sale, 22-23 May 1995 lot 99.

    Special Notice

    This lot will be sold under the Alpha scheme. If you are an EU Purchaser, there is effectively no change: VAT is charged at 17.5% on the buyer''s premium ONLY on a VAT inclusive basis. VAT is accounted for under the auctioneer''s margin scheme. If you are a non-EU Purchaser: VAT, at 17.5%, will be payable on both the hammer price and the buyer''s premium. VAT on the hammer will be refunded upon receipt of export documentation by the VAT department. Non-EU trading businesses can receive a further VAT refund on the buyer''s premium directly from HM Revenue and Customs.


    Literature

    C. Gilbert and T. Murdoch, John Channon and brass-inlaid furniture 1730-1760, London, 1993, figs. VIII and IX.