• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 12195

    Living With Art

    14 - 15 June 2016, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 384

    A GEORGE II GILTWOOD MIRROR

    CIRCA 1755

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A GEORGE II GILTWOOD MIRROR
    CIRCA 1755
    The rectangular beveled plate within a surround carved with bearded masks with feathered headdresses above rushes, the cresting with a central ruffled shell and foliate canapé, flanked by winged swan's neck cresting, the base with female mask
    56 in. (142.2 cm.) high, 31 ½ in. (80 cm.) wide


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    This elaborate mirror, designed in the George II 'picturesque' fashion and displaying paired figural terms, is derived from a 'sconce' pattern published by the specialist carver and pattern-book author Matthias Lock (d.1765) in his Six Sconces, 1744, pl. 4 (M. Snodin ed, Rococo; Art and design in Hogarth's England, London, 1984, pl. XIII and L4). Lock was lauded as 'the famous Matthias Lock, the most excellent wood carver', and 'the best Ornament draughts-man in Europe'.

    This pattern was produced in varying sizes. An impressive example with matching table supplied to the 2nd Earl Poulett for the Tapestry Room at Hinton House, Somerset (circa 1735) is now in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London (D. Fitz-Gerald, Georgian Furniture, 1969, pl.40). A pair from Ramsbury, Wiltshire was sold by the Trustees of the late Sir Francis Burdett, 8th Bt., Christie's, London, 22 October 1953, lot 111 (illustrated in R. Edwards and P. Macquoid, The Dictionary of English Furniture, 1954, vol. II, p. 339, fig. 72.) and a further pair was supplied to Uppark, Sussex (Uppark: National Trust Guide Book, 1985, p. 18). Examples in a comparable scale to the present example includes a closely related pair from the Walter P. Chrysler Jr. Collection, sold Parke-Bernet Galleries, New York, part two, 6-7 May 1960, lots 355 and 356 (one illustrated in H. Hayward, World Furniture, 1965, p. 132, fig. 486); a pair sold from the Van Cliburn collection, Christie’s, New York, 17 May 2012, lot 114; and a single sold Christie's, New York, 14-15 April 2011, lot 549.

    THE PROVENANCE

    Alice Keppel was a prominent British socialite admired for her beauty and magnetic personality. She was the daughter of Sir William Edmonstone, 4th Baronet and grew up at Duntreath Castle in Scotland. In 1898, at age twenty nine, she met Edward VII, then Prince of Wales and heir to the throne, who was twenty seven years her senior and she became his ‘favorita’ or favorite mistress and was conspicuous in her role as royal hostess (D. Souhami, Mrs. Keppel and her Daughter, New York, 1996). In 1910, the year following the king’s death, the Keppels moved into their mansion at 16 Grosvenor Street in Mayfair which they refurbished, patronizing various the fashionable London dealer Lenygon & Morant, although the mirror was reputed to have been a gift from the King himself. By 1927, the Keppels sold their home and bought a Tuscan villa where they would spend the rest of their lives. Alice’s daughter, Sonia, lived in Hall Place in West Meon, Hampshire. She was married to Hon. Roland Cubitt, the son of Henry Cubitt, 2nd Baron Ashcombe, and divorced him in 1947, a few months before he succeeded to the title as 3rd Baron Ashcombe. The mirror appears in situ at Hall Place in an unpublished Country Life photograph of 1944.

    Provenance

    By repute, a gift from King Edward VII to Mrs. George (Alice) Keppel.
    By descent to her daughter, Mrs. Sonia Cubitt, Hall Place, West Meon, Hampshire (where the mirror appears in situ in a 1944 Country Life photograph).
    Anonymous sale; Sotheby’s, New York, 22 January 1994, lot 249.


    Pre-Lot Text

    PROPERTY OF A PRIVATE COLLECTOR