• The Country House Sale - Newto auction at Christies

    Sale 5984

    The Country House Sale - Newton Hall

    20 January 2010, London, South Kensington

  • Lot 296

    A GEORGE III BRASS-MOUNTED MAHOGANY SATINWOOD AND MARQUETRY BREAKFRONT LIBRARY BOOKCASE

    CIRCA 1780

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A GEORGE III BRASS-MOUNTED MAHOGANY SATINWOOD AND MARQUETRY BREAKFRONT LIBRARY BOOKCASE
    CIRCA 1780
    The moulded cornice with central broken pediment above astragal glazed doors enclosing thirty six adjustable mahogany shelves, above a satinwood-crossbanded shelf and ten graduated short drawers with beech linings flanked by doors, each crossbanded and quarter veneered and centred by a foliate-oval medallion and with ivory escutcheons, one cupboard enclosing three adjustable shelves, the other a later early 19th century folio slide, on a plinth base, the inside of the cornice with painted graffiti 'JW ... 1827 JAMES WALLACE PAINTER 1846 GEORGE WILKINSON PAINTER 1846 J MACKENZIE SAPPER C A TAYLOR TYNE CC RE (J) W.ROBINSON J.MATTISON PAINTERS SEPT 4TH 1917 G.CARSON 1913 1929 E.TAYLOR 1929' and others, and to the back 'J.M SEPT 4TH WR', three handles replaced, otherwise metal work apparently original
    134½ in. (342 cm.) high; 161 in. (409 cm.) wide; 21 in. (54 cm.) deep


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    The handsome bookcase is designed in the 1780s Roman fashion later popularised by Thomas Sheraton's, Cabinet-Maker and Upholsterer's Drawing Book (1793). Mosaic-fretted and French-marquetried in allusion to lyric poetry's triumph, the glazing astragals present loves weapons of bows confronted on medallioned shields; and, derive from Sheraton's Doors for Bookcases pattern no. 4., pl. XXIX but omitting a central figurative tablet recalling ancient Sacrifices at Loves altar. Reflecting the Grecian/Etruscan fashion, flowered medallions in coffer-parquetried and hollow-cornered tablets embellish the commode doors that are recessed to the sides of the central cabinet's drawer-chest base.

    It is possible that the bookcase was executed in Scotland, since similar sunflowered handles feature on an early l9th century chest of drawers, likewise inlaid with hollow-cornered tablets, that was supplied by the cabinet-maker John Biggar of Horse Wynd, Edinburgh (see D. Jones, The Edinburgh Cabinet and Chair Makers' Book of Prices, Cupar, 2000, pl. 15).

    Special Notice

    Prospective purchasers are advised that several countries prohibit the importation of property containing materials from endangered species, including but not limited to coral, ivory and tortoiseshell. Accordingly, prospective purchasers should familiarize themselves with relevant customs regulations prior to bidding if they intend to import this lot into another country.
    No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 17.5% will be added to the buyer's premium, which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.


    Provenance

    Almost certainly commissioned for the library at Newton Hall, Northumberland when built for Samuel Cook (b. 1722) in 1772.


    Saleroom Notice

    Please note that the height of the bookcase should read 134½ in. (342 cm.) and not as printed in the catalogue.


    Literature

    Inventory and Valuation of the contents of Newton Hall, Felton, Morpeth, Northumberland, The Property of Brigadier General B. F. Widdrington, C.M.G., D.S.O., 1925, p. 27 and stating that this bookcase probably constructed in the house, circa 1780.


    Post Lot Text

    END OF SALE