• The Collection of Benjamin F.  auction at Christies

    Sale 2388

    The Collection of Benjamin F. Edwards III

    26 January 2010, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 393

    A GEORGE III MAHOGANY PARTNER'S DESK

    BY SEDDON SONS & SHACKLETON, LATE 18TH CENTURY

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A GEORGE III MAHOGANY PARTNER'S DESK
    BY SEDDON SONS & SHACKLETON, LATE 18TH CENTURY
    The rectangular top inset with later green tooled leather and with opposing frieze drawers flanked by two banks of three graduated drawers opposing cabinet doors with oak-fronted drawers on a plinth base, with paper printed trade label of Seddon, Sons & Shackleton, CABINET MAKERS and UPHOLDERS to His Serene Highness the hereditary Prince of Wirtemberg Aldersgate Lane LONDON British Cast Large Plate Glass Manufactory and Carpet Warehouse
    31½ in. (80 cm.) high, 66 in. (168 cm.) wide, 41 in. (104.5 cm.) deep


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    The cabinet-making firm established by George Seddon in the early 1750s was a prolific one. An entry in the Gentleman's Magazine of 1768 notes a fire on the premises of Mr. Seddon, 'one of the most eminent cabinet-makers in London, which resulted in 20,000 in damages'; in 1783 another fire destroyed an enormous £100,000 in property. Despite these setbacks, Seddon Sons were one of the leading cabinet-making firms and boasted clients such as the Empress of Russia, the 5th Duke of Bedford and Lord Mansfield of Kenwood house. In 1786, a visiting German novelist, Sophie von La Roche, noted in her travel journal that the firm employed over 400 apprentices. She describes 'Some of the department contains nothing but chairs, sofas, stools of every description, some quite simple, others exquisitely carved and made of all varieties of wood from the simplest and cheapest to the most elegant and expensive.."

    George Seddon was joined by his sons in 1785 and his son-in-law Thomas Shackleton followed into the business by June 1790, when the bill head was changed to 'Seddon Sons and Shackleton'.

    Provenance

    Anonymous Sale; Sotheby's, London, 4 June 2008, lot 144.