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    Sale 7561

    Simon Sainsbury The Creation of an English Arcadia

    18 June 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 159

    A GEORGE III EBONISED AND MAHOGANY CHEST

    CIRCA 1770, ATTRIBUTED TO MAYHEW AND INCE

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A GEORGE III EBONISED AND MAHOGANY CHEST
    CIRCA 1770, ATTRIBUTED TO MAYHEW AND INCE
    The rectangular moulded and earred top above a fluted frieze drawer and three further long graduated drawers flanked by canted fluted angles headed by oval rosette patera, with plain sides, on a moulded plinth with canted rosette-paterae angles, the handles original
    34½ in. (87.5 cm.) high; 40½ in. (103 cm.) wide; 13 1/8 in. (97 cm.) deep


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    This pier table commode, intended to accompany a mirror in a bedroom-appartment window-pier, is conceived in the George III 'Roman' fashion promoted by the court architect Robert Adam (d. 1792). Its top has projecting 'tablet' or 'architectural' cut-corners, while its frame is embellished with 'Apollo' sunflowered paterae and antique-flutes in the manner of a Roman tripod. More paterae embellish the angles of its stepped plinth, and reed framed drawers of finely-figured mahogany are enriched with omolu handles in the French 'picturesque' fashion.

    The use of ebonised borders is a recurrent feature of Mayhew & Ince's work and appears on the related commode almost certainly supplied to George Finch, 4th Earl of Nottingham and 9th Earl of Winchilsea (1752-1826) for Burley-on-the-Hill, Rutland (sold by E.R. Hanbury, Esq. Christie's London, 6 July 1989, lot 147 and re-offered in the Sainsbury Collection as lot 250). The Burley commode provides the basis for a number of attributions of related commodes with rounded fluted angles headed by paterae, such as a commode sold anonymously in these rooms, 4 July, 1996, lot 389.

    The drawer handles, with escutcheon-plates of fretted ribbon-scrolls wrapped by Roman acanthus, were adopted in the early 1760s by leading cabinet-makers including Thomas Chippendale of St. Martin's Lane (C. Gilbert, The Life and Work of Thomas Chippendale, London, 1987, vol. II, figs. 226 and 270). These same handles were employed by Chippendale on the desk supplied to William, 5th Earl of Dumfries at Dumfries House in May 1759 (Christie's house sale catalogue, 12 & 13 July 2007, lot 30).

    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

    With Norman Adams, February 1980.
    50 Years of Collecting, sold Christie's London, 14 May 2003, lot 67.


    Literature

    C. Claxton Stevens and S. Whittington, 18th Century English Furniture, The Norman Adams Collection, Woodbridge, rev. ed., 1985, p. 377.