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    Sale 7727

    Important English Furniture and Clocks

    4 June 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 150

    A GEORGE II GILT-GESSO SIDE TABLE

    CIRCA 1735

    Price Realised  

    A GEORGE II GILT-GESSO SIDE TABLE
    CIRCA 1735
    The rectangular later giallo antico top above a frieze with foliage on a punched background above a shaped apron centred by a ducal coronet with the initials 'CR', on cabriole legs headed with scrolling acanthus on claw feet, the gilding apparently original
    32½ in. (82.5 cm.) high; 48½ in. (123 cm.) wide; 26¼ in. (66.5 cm.) deep


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    The golden sideboard-table frame is magnificently carved in the George II 'Roman' fashion, and heraldically charged with the ducal coronet of the connoisseur Charles Lennox, 2nd Duke of Richmond (d. 1750). The Duke, who served as Lord Constable at George II's coronation, was appointed in 1735 as Master of [the King's] Horse, and amongst many other appointments served as president of the Royal Society of Antiquaries as well as the Society of Arts. The Duke's coronet ensigned and conjoined CR cipher labels an embossed escutcheon, whose palm-enwreathed cartouche is draped with a fretted and scalloped lambrequin and clasped to the swagged and sarcophagus-scrolled apron of the antique-stippled frame. It is buttressed by wave-voluted ribbon-scrolls enwreathed by Roman foliage, and these echo the Ionic brackets of the table's truss-scrolled pilasters, which terminate in Bacchic lion legs. The escutcheon is tied by a Pan-reed beneath the hollowed frieze which is enriched with conjoined and husk-issuing acanthus rising from the centre and corners. Such marble topped tables would have been accompanied by a wine-bottle cistern of marble or silver.

    The pattern appears to derive in part from an engraving of a Louis Quatorze Roman sarcophagus 'commode-table' invented by Jean Bérain (d.1711), and relates to a table-frame pattern engraved in 1739 for B. Langley's, The City and Country Builder's and Workman's Treasury of Designs, 1740 (pl. 147)

    Related lion-legged tables were listed in the banqueting hall at Althorp, Northamptonshire in the 1746 inventory drawn up by Benjamin Goodison (d.1767), who had succeeded James Moore (d.1726) as 'Purveyor' to the court (see P. Thornton and J. Hardy,'The Spencer Furniture at Althorp', Apollo, March 1968, p.183, fig. 9). The manufacture of the latter has been credited to Goodison, as have other related lion-footed tables that are likely to have belonged to Richard Temple (d.1749) 1st Viscount Cobham (sold by a descendant of the 2nd Viscount Beasted, M.C., Christie's, London, 9 July 1998 lot 100). A large boardroom table with related pattern of leg was executed in mahogany around 1730 for the East India Company and illustrated in J. Hardy, India Office Furniture, London, 1982, p. 34, fig. 63.

    Charles, Duke of Richmond modernised his Whitehall mansion, but appears to have made few changes at Goodwood, Sussex. In the 1739 inventory of Richmond House, a 'Marble Table', together with a large silver cistern was listed in the Dining Room, and it is tempting to identify the present table with this entry (the London house furnishings are discussed by Rosemary Baird, 'Richmond House in London: Part II', The British Art Journal, Vol. VIII, no.3, pp.3-14).

    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

    Possibly Charles Lennox, 2nd Duke of Richmond (1701-1750).


    Pre-Lot Text

    THE PROPERTY OF A GENTLEMAN