• English Furniture and Clocks auction at Christies

    Sale 7769

    English Furniture and Clocks

    19 November 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 31

    A GEORGE II GILTWOOD MIRROR

    CIRCA 1730, ORIGINALLY FITTED

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A GEORGE II GILTWOOD MIRROR
    CIRCA 1730, ORIGINALLY FITTED
    Of rectangular form with central divided panel of three plates, the lower plate with arched base, surrounded by border plates, flanked by raised mirrored Corinthian pilasters, surmounted by a cresting carved with wheat-ears, shells, husks, peas and birds in branches on a simulated basket-weave ground, around a cartouche with later oval polychrome painted armorial surmounted by a ducal coronet, the plates bevelled, four border plates cracked, the back with printed label 'From Lenygon & Morant Ltd. 31, Old Burlington Street', inscribed in blue chalk '4794', originally fitted as part of a panelled room and with consequential alterations, two large plates 19th century, the remainder 18th century and resilvered
    93½ x 53 in. (237.5 x 134.5 cm.)


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    The magnificent overmantel-mirror, with its triumphal-arched and heraldically-charged temple pediment raised on foliated Corinthian pilasters, is conceived in the George I 'Roman' fashion, that was later popularised by B. Langley's, City and Country Builder's and Workman's Treasury of Designs, 1740. Evolved from the Louis Quatorze 'Roman' fashion popularised by the Oeuvres of William IIIs court architect Daniel Marot (d.1752). The tympanum of its Apollonian light-reflecting and glass-mosaiced frame, bears family armorials displayed within a medallioned escutcheon. This labels an antique-fretted and bas-relief tablet, whose basket-weave evokes the Festivities of Venus, and the concept of love's triumph accompanied by Peace and Plenty and virtue rewarded. The escutcheon is guarded by the deity's sacred doves, which perch on beribboned garlands that are tied amongst Roman foliage to pilasters bearing triumphal palm-trophies and incorporating the shell badges of Venus beside the corn badges of the harvest and fertility deity Ceres. Similar symbolism features on a pier-glass commissioned around 1715 for the Hampton Court apartments created for George II, when Prince of Wales, and supplied by the court cabinet-makers James Moore and John Gumley. Moore and Gumley may also have supplied a related mirror, with mirrored pilasters, at Grimsthorpe Castle, Lincolnshire (see R. Edwards, Shorter Dictionary of English Furniture, London, 1964, p. 359, fig. 24; T. Murdoch, 'The King's cabinet-maker: the giltwood furniture of James Moore the Elder', Burlington Magazine, June 2003, pp. 408-420; and C. Hussey, 'Grimsthorpe Castle', Country Life, 26 April 1924, p. 653, fig. 7).

    Francis H. Lenygon, leased 31 Old Burlington Street in 1909, and later formed a partnership with Messrs Morant & Co.

    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

    Probably bought from Lenygon & Morant Ltd., 31 Old Burlington Street.