• Living with Art auction at Christies

    Sale 12198

    Living with Art

    13 - 14 October 2016, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 230

    A GEORGE II MAHOGANY BUREAU CABINET

    ATTRIBUTED TO GILLOWS AND POSSIBLY CARVED BY JAMES TOWNSON, CIRCA 1760

    Estimate

    A GEORGE II MAHOGANY BUREAU CABINET

    ATTRIBUTED TO GILLOWS AND POSSIBLY CARVED BY JAMES TOWNSON, CIRCA 1760
    The surmounting cartouche depicting the Langston coat-of-arms with motto Loyal au mort, the cabinet and slam front with a fitted interior, the slam front door lock stamped GR & Barron patent, the silver escutcheons bearing the marks of Thomas Wallis, London
    95 ½ in. high; 56 in. wide; 25 ½ in. deep


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    The cabinet bears the coat of arms and motto of the Langton family and was most certainly supplied to Thomas Langton (d. 1802) at the time he was rebuilding Ash Tree House in the mid-18th century. The cabinet can be attributed to the Lancaster-based Gillows, based on stylistic attributes and a connection with the Langton family.

    Stylistically, the distinctive Corinthian pilasters relate closely to those on a clothes press supplied in 1761 for Ralph Bell of Thirsk Hall, Yorkshire (S. E. Stuart, Gillows of Lancaster and London 1730-1840, Woodbridge, Suffolk, 2008, vol. II, pp. 52-53, pl. 595-596) whose capitals were carved by James Townson. The broad proportions of the piece, high quality timber and scalloped outline of the pediment all support a Gillows attribution. Furthermore, Thomas Langton’s firm, Langton, Birley & Co. in Kirkham are noted as having approached Gillows in 1786 regarding the purchase of Riga oak (Stuart, op. cit., vol. II, p. 156) confirming the family’s association with the firm.

    Special Notice

    Please note lots marked with a square will be moved to Christie’s Fine Art Storage Services (CFASS in Red Hook, Brooklyn) on the last day of the sale. Lots are not available for collection at Christie’s Fine Art Storage Services until after the third business day following the sale. All lots will be stored free of charge for 30 days from the auction date at Christie’s Rockefeller Center or Christie’s Fine Art Storage Services (CFASS in Red Hook, Brooklyn). Operation hours for collection from either location are from 9.30 am to 5.00 pm, Monday-Friday. After 30 days from the auction date property may be moved at Christie’s discretion. Please contact Post-Sale Services to confirm the location of your property prior to collection. Lots may not be collected during the day of their move to Christie’s Fine Art Storage Services (CFASS in Red Hook, Brooklyn). Please consult the Lot Collection Notice for collection information.


    Provenance

    Almost certainly supplied to Thomas Langton (d. 1802), Ash Tree House, Kirkham, Lancaster.
    With Mallett, London.


    Pre-Lot Text

    PROPERTY OF AN IMPORTANT NEW YORK COLLECTOR