This superb bookcase's 'antique' hexagonal-compartmented glazing-bars and drawer-fitted base accompanied by 'French' style 'commode'-doors with indented corner mouldings is typical of the fashionable George III style popularised and promoted by Mayhew and Ince in the 1760's: their Universal System of Household Furniture illustrates these features on a cabinet described as a 'Gentleman's Repository', plate XXI. The cut-corner panelled doors of the bookcase match those on a breakfront-cabinet sold anonymously, Christie's London, 4 July 1996, lot 338 (£60,000), while the use of richly figured mahogany for the base panels is often seen on Mayhew and Ince furniture including a breakfront bookcase attributed to the firm and sold from the collection of Jeremy Ltd., Christie's, London, 20 November 2008, lot 90 (£60,000).
MAYHEW AND INCE
One of the most successful cabinet-maker partnerships of the 18th century, John Mayhew (d. 1811) and William Ince (d. 1804) established their Golden Square workshop in 1759 and published The Universal System of Household Furniture in 1762, a pattern book of their own furniture designs almost entirely in the rococo style.
Firmly attributing furniture to Mayhew and Ince is complicated by both the extent to which the firm experimented stylistically and the fact that their designs were inevitably copied. Furthermore there are frequent inconsistencies in style, construction and quality of workmanship even amongst their known commissions for clients such as the Duke of Marlborough at Blenheim, the Earl of Coventry at Croome Court and the Earl of Exeter at Burghley House.