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    Sale 7627

    Dealing in Excellence: A Celebration of Hotspur and Jeremy

    20 November 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 43

    A GEORGE III MAHOGANY SECRETAIRE-CABINET

    IN THE MANNER OF GILES GRENDEY, THIRD QUARTER 18TH CENTURY

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A GEORGE III MAHOGANY SECRETAIRE-CABINET
    IN THE MANNER OF GILES GRENDEY, THIRD QUARTER 18TH CENTURY
    The triangular open pediment above a cavetto cornice and a pair of doors with shaped panels between stop-fluted Doric pilasters, enclosing two adjustable shelves and three shaped vertical removable added divides, above a secretaire drawer with a shaped green leather-lined slide and four pigeon-holes and seven drawers around a recess, above two short and three long graduated drawers, on shaped bracket feet, minor replacements to feet, the handles replaced but 18th century
    91½ in. (232.5 cm.) high; 42½ in. (108 cm.) wide; 21½ in. (55 cm.) deep


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    The temple-pedimented bureau-cabinet, with projecting antique-fluted pilasters and 'Pan' reed enrichments, is designed in the George II 'Modern' fashion as popularised by B. Langley's, The City and Country Builders and Workmans Treasury of Designs, 1740.

    It fuses 'picturesque' ornament with the 'Romano-British' fashion promoted by Richard Boyle, 3rd Earl of Burlington; and romantically associated with the antique architecture of Vitruvius, author of the celebrated Roman architectural treatise, as well as that of the 16th century Italian architect Andrea Palladio and the English 17th century court architect Inigo Jones (d.1652).

    The bookcase tympanum is hollowed for a plinth-supported bust in the manner of Langley's 'Tuscan Book Case' pattern (pl.157); while the beautiful marble-rippled tablets of its French-fashioned 'commode' doors are recessed and wreathed by festive ribbon-bands that are serpentine-fretted in ancient pre-Vitruvian fashion. The latter's conjoined 'cupid-bow' form, serving as a 'lyric-poetry' trophy and appropriate embellishment of a bedroom apartment dressing-room or cabinet, can be related to Langley's adjoining pattern which reissued a pattern for French-fashioned dressing-table glass that was similarly shaped and crowned by a Venus-shell badge (Langley, ibid., pl. 156).

    The celebrated Clerkenwell cabinet-maker Giles Grendey (d.1780) adopted this same 'Modern' architecture for a clothes-press that bears his mid-1740s label and is inscribed 'Giles Grendey, St. Johns Square, Clerkenwell, London. Makes and Sells all Sorts of CABINET GOODS, Chairs, Tables, Glassses, etc.'(C. Gilbert, Pictorial Dictionary of Marked London Furniture, Leeds, 1996, fig. 433). A related mahogany clothes-press featuring the label of Philip Bell, of St Paul's Churchyard is also designed in the same manner with similar shaped door panels (ibid., p. 100, fig. 101).

    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.