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    Sale 7586

    West ~ East - The Niall Hobhouse Collection

    22 May 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 90

    A GEORGE III MAHOGANY BREAKFRONT BOOKCASE

    CIRCA 1800, ATTRIBUTED TO GILLOWS

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A GEORGE III MAHOGANY BREAKFRONT BOOKCASE
    CIRCA 1800, ATTRIBUTED TO GILLOWS
    Fitted with six astragal glazed doors and six panelled doors, enclosing shelves, flanked by foliate carved channelled uprights, on plinth base, the reverse with paper labels, inscribed in ink 'No. 51' and 'No. 52'
    108¼ in. (275 cm.) high; 170 in. (432 cm.) wide; 22½ in. (51 cm.) deep


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    The bookcase is designed in the late George III 'Roman' fashion promoted around 1800 by the Wyatt architectural dynasty lead by James Wyatt (d. 1813), and with its superb flame-figured mahogany typifies the libraries fitted out under their direction by Messrs Gillow of London and Lancaster. With its Grecian cornice, reeded pilasters enriched by acanthus-wrapped Roman trusses, and bas-relief palms flowering the frieze and hollow-cornered tablets of the commode doors, it relates to Gillow's 'large Elegant Mahogany Library Bookcases' fitted up in 1811 in the Library created by Samuel and Lewis Wyatt at Tatton Park, Cheshire. Its cornice is likewise veneered in a richly striated South American timber, which was called 'Venatica' by Gillows, whose extensive Lancaster warerooms were famous in this period for being stocked with 'every article of useful and ornamental mahogany furniture' (see N. Goodison and J. Hardy, 'Gillows at Tatton Park', Furniture History, 1970, plates 6A, 6B and 7A; and J. Hardy, 'Gillow Furnishings and the Tatton Park Library, 1811', Regional Furniture, 1998 pp.94-98). This bookcase pattern also featured in Gillow's 1819 Library Plan for Glasserton House, Wigtownshire, together with an alternate glazing scheme including brass-work in the Tatton fashion (D. Jones and J. Urquhart, 'Gillow in Scotland 1770-1830', Regional Furniture, 1998, pp. 119-154, fig. 2). The present reed glazing, mosaiced in triumphal arch compartments, relates to patterns later popularised by George Smith's, Cabinet-Maker and Upholsterer's Guide, 1826/7.

    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

    The Graham family, Golant, Cornwall;
    and thence by descent at Penquite House, Fowey, Cornwall.