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    Sale 7627

    Dealing in Excellence: A Celebration of Hotspur and Jeremy

    20 November 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 64

    A GEORGE III MAHOGANY GENTLEMAN'S SECRETAIRE-CABINET

    POSSIBLY BY THOMAS CHIPPENDALE, THIRD QUARTER 18TH CENTURY

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A GEORGE III MAHOGANY GENTLEMAN'S SECRETAIRE-CABINET
    POSSIBLY BY THOMAS CHIPPENDALE, THIRD QUARTER 18TH CENTURY
    The rectangular moulded crossbanded top above a hinged flap with concave-cornered ebony mouldings enclosing a gilt-tooled green leather-lined writing-surface and a pair of shaped doors enclosing twenty-four pigeon-holes and two mahogany lined drawers, on the right the drawer fitted with divisions for an ink-well and sander and on the left the drawer fitted with a locking slide, the pigeon-holes with ivory letters on an ebony ground (j and v omitted), the base with six drawers, the upper most drawers each with an oak slide, on a moulded plinth, the handles original, the underside with a thin red wash
    52 in. (132 cm.) high; 48½ in. (123 cm.) wide; 20½ in. (52 cm.) deep


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    The handsome 'commode-secretaire', wreathed in reeds to evoke the poets' Pan-governed Arcadian paradise, is designed in the restrained George III French antique or Modern fashion introduced in the 1760s by the St. Martin's Lane firm of Thomas Chippendale (d. 1789). Its open cornice may have been intended for a garniture of 'antique' urns, in keeping with the Roman Etruscan 'columbarium' fashion popularised by the Rome-trained court architect Robert Adam (d. 1792). Appropriately the chest façade is mosaic-parquetried, in Roman pavement fashion, to display superb marble-figured mahogany in hollow-corned tablets, and their frames of trompe l'oiel antique bronze reeds are sculpted in Etruscan-black ebony. The silken-figured tablets of the drawer-nests, incorporated in its Grecian plinth-supported commode-chest, are likewise enriched by golden bronze reed handles and these festoon from Roman medallioned 'patera' plates that are wreathed in Etruscan-fashioned 'Venus' pearl-strings.
    Amongst related furniture executed by Thomas Chippendale, celebrated author of, The Gentleman and Cabinet-Maker's Director, (3 vols 1754-1762), is a clothes-press commissioned in 1774 for Paxton, Scotland (C. Gilbert, The Life and Work of Thomas Chippendale, 1978, fig. 248). This fashionable and well-apportioned cabinet would have been designed to harmonise with such bedroom-apartment furniture and suited a Gentleman's Dressing-Room that also served as a Morning Cabinet Room.
    The chest, evolved from the 17th century 'escritoire' document-chest, with its hinged 'fall' front concealing a leather 'writing-table', while brass 'security' flanges incorporated at the side-edges are concealed by bronzed cartouches of Roman acanthus. The secretaire 'prospect' has writing-equipment drawers incorporated beneath ogival-scrolled and triumphal-arched 'commode' doors; and their secured paper 'pigeon-holes' are suitably 'antique' labelled by 'Etruscan' black and white medallioned alphabet-plates.

    Special Notice

    This lot will be sold under the Alpha scheme. If you are an EU Purchaser, there is effectively no change: VAT is charged at 17.5% on the buyer''s premium ONLY on a VAT inclusive basis. VAT is accounted for under the auctioneer''s margin scheme. If you are a non-EU Purchaser: VAT, at 17.5%, will be payable on both the hammer price and the buyer''s premium. VAT on the hammer will be refunded upon receipt of export documentation by the VAT department. Non-EU trading businesses can receive a further VAT refund on the buyer''s premium directly from HM Revenue and Customs.