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    Sale 7627

    Dealing in Excellence: A Celebration of Hotspur and Jeremy

    20 November 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 140

    A GEORGE II CHINESE LACQUER, BLACK AND GILT-JAPANNED OPEN DISPLAY-CASE

    ATTRIBUTED TO WILLIAM AND JOHN LINNELL, MID-18TH CENTURY

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A GEORGE II CHINESE LACQUER, BLACK AND GILT-JAPANNED OPEN DISPLAY-CASE
    ATTRIBUTED TO WILLIAM AND JOHN LINNELL, MID-18TH CENTURY
    The reeded canopy above four columns and a larger canopy on four uprights with orange-painted underside, above three bowfront tiers with pierced fretwork galleries, the lower tiers with reused lacquer panels, the sides of the central tier filled with Chinese paling and with doors at the front, the ends of the lower tier with a similar design of paling, on square legs headed by pierced angle brackets, the underside with white painted inscription '120', the decoration refreshed, the bells and columns supporting the upper canopy reinstated by Arlington Conservation, the feet with 3 inch lap panel added, minor repairs to galleries and brackets
    85½ in (217 cm.) high; 53 in. (134.5 cm.) wide; 18½ in. (47 cm.) deep


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    The glossy golden-flowered cabinet for the display of porcelain, with its French-fashioned Chinese veneer cut from lacquered screens and its trompe l'oeil lacquer japanning, is conceived in the George II 'Modern' style advertised by Thomas Chippendale's Gentleman and Cabinet-maker's Director, 1754. It features a bell-hung pagoda-roof above three compass-centred and tray-railed shelves; while more vases would have furnished the floor beneath its table-frame.
    These cabinets served primarily for the display of porcelain tea-services in reception dressing-rooms that were fashionably hung in Chinese paper 'à la Français'. Called 'shelves for china', they supplanted the Chinese lacquered tray-on-stand, such as that acquired by the East India Company Director Sir Robert Child and inventoried many years later as an 'India Tea Table' in the floral 'Blue India Paper Dressing Room' at Osterley Park, Middlesex (see M. Tomlin, 'The 1782 Inventory of Osterley Park', Furniture History, 1986 p.114). A pair of prototype lacquer-panelled and japanned china-shelved night-tables was provided about 1750 by the Mayfair cabinet-makers Messrs. William and John Linnell and designed en suite with their temple-canopied bed, conveived in Chinese 'wedding kiosk' fashion for Badminton House, Gloucestershire (H. Hayward and P. Kirkham, William and John Linnell, London, 1980, figs. 218 and 1). The Linnells also introduced the 'double-braced' fret as seen on the lower tray-rails in their design for the tripartite and pagoda-crested backs of Badminton's bedroom chairs (see Hayward, ibid, vol 1, pl. 4).
    The present china-shelves relate in particular to Linnells' lacquer-panelled shelves designed for the apartment created by the architect James Paine for Lady Curzon at Kedleston Hall, Derbyshire. While the latter's tiered pagoda roof was flanked by additional umbrello'd pillars, it shares the tripartite 'triumphal-arch' form with 'compass-fronted' bays, as well as the same frets in the front and side rails. With the Etruscan-black colouring and buffet-like display of forty four pieces of china, Lady Curzon's shelves continued in fashionable service in Kedleston's 'à la Français' State Dressing Room created by the architect Robert 'Bob the Roman' Adam (d. 1792) (Hayward, ibid., fig. 219; and the 1804 Kedleston Inventory in the possession of The National Trust).
    Other closely related 'shelves for China' formed part of the collections of Georgian furniture and Chinese works assembled by the architect and interior decorator Basil Ionides and bibliophile Mrs Ionides, née Nellie Samuel (d.1962) at their London home in Berkeley Square and at Buxted Park, Sussex (sold by the late The Hon. Mrs Nellie Ionides, Sotheby's house sale, 31 May 1963, lot 185). The latter, lacked the pagoda roof, but shared the same pattern of frets at the side and in the 'commode' doors.

    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.


    Provenance

    Stuart and Turner Ltd., 1951.
    Sir James Horlick, Bt., and by descent until sold Sotheby's London, 5 June 2007, lot 8.


    Literature

    L. G. G. Ramsey, 'Chinoiserie in the Western Isles: The Collection of Sir James and Lady Horlick', The Connoisseur, June 1958, fig. 4.
    H. Hayward & P. Kirkham, William and John Linnell, London, 1980, vol. II, p. 113, fig. 219.