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    Sale 7561

    Simon Sainsbury The Creation of an English Arcadia

    18 June 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 55


    CIRCA 1755

    Price Realised  


    CIRCA 1755
    The octagonal tilt-top with a waved edge and carved with a gadrooned border and acanthus on a rockwork ground, above a birdcage support and a baluster shaft carved alternately with foliage and rockwork on a punched ground, the arched scrolled legs with fluted panels, carved foliage and scrolled feet, the top of the birdcage support inscribed in ink 'VIO/=X#U'
    27½ in. (70 cm.) high; 27 in. (68.5 cm) diameter

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    This table's Roman acanthus-wrapped vase baluster, raised on a serpentined truss claw, terminates in voluted scrolls in the George II manner featured in a firescreen pattern attributed to Messrs Ince and Mayhew and published in The Society of Upholsterers, Genteel Houshold Furniture in genteel Taste for the Year 1760, pl. 91. A claw of similar form appears on a firescreen, dated to the 1760s at Padworth House, Berkshire (R. Edwards, Shorter Dictionary of English Furniture, London, 1964 p.438, fig. 16).


    Robert Wemyss Symonds (1889-1958) dominated the field of English furniture collecting in the mid-20th Century. Between 1921 and 1958 his five major books and countless articles formed and then reflected the taste of a generation. He was involved in the formation of almost all of the great private collections of English furniture and clocks of the time, including those of Percival Griffiths, Eric and Ralph Moller, Samuel Messer and Joseph Sassoon Sykes, and much of their furniture was used to illustrate his books. When sourcing furniture for his clients, Symonds laid particular emphasis on original patination, a well-balanced design and good quality carving and timber. Unlike many collectors today where the provenance is paramount, Symonds' primary concern was that the piece stood on its own merits, with or without an illustrious background.

    This table has the rare distinction of having been owned not only by Percival Griffiths but also by J.S. Sykes. The latter's truly remarkable collection was discussed in a series of articles published by Symonds including 'Eighteenth Century Mahogany Furniture, illustrated with examples from the collection of Mr. J.S.Sykes', Apollo, August 1937, pp.68-73.

    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.


    Percival D. Griffiths, Esq.
    J.S. Sykes, Esq.
    Christopher Joll, Esq.


    R.W. Symonds, The Present State of Old English Furniture, London, 1921 (reprinted 1927), fig. 78
    R.W. Symonds, English Furniture from Charles II to George II, London, 1929, p. 231, figs. 188 and 189
    R.W. Symonds, Masterpieces of English Furniture, London, 1940, p. 30, figs. 21 and 22
    R. Edwards and P. Macquoid, The Dictionary of English Furniture, rev. edn., 1954, vol. III, p. 205, fig. 8