• Focal Point - The Nicholas Gif auction at Christies

    Sale 5975

    Focal Point - The Nicholas Gifford-Mead Collection of Chimneypieces & Ornament

    29 October 2009, London, South Kensington

  • Lot 81

    A GEORGE III POLISHED STEEL FIREGRATE

    CIRCA 1790, POSSIBLY BY HENRY HOLLAND

    Price Realised  

    A GEORGE III POLISHED STEEL FIREGRATE
    CIRCA 1790, POSSIBLY BY HENRY HOLLAND
    With rectangular basket, the top rail with obelisk-shaped finials, above the pierced fret with interlinking scrolls, and applied with engraved cabochons and bosses within beaded borders, the standards with gadrooned tapering feet below urn-shaped finials engraved with stiff-leaf ornament, below conforming urns flanking the top rail, with arched backplate
    29 in. (73.5 cm.) high; 36¾ in. (93.5 cm.) wide; 15 in. (38 cm.) deep


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    The attention to detail in this grate, such as the unusual feature of the flat back of the top finials, and the shape of the tapering supports, would suggest the involvement of an architect in its design. This may have been Henry Holland who was employed by Samuel Whitbread (founder of the brewery) to remodel the family home Southill, Bedfordshire, in 1795. Certainly the shape of the tapering supports is very similar to those on a commode at Southill and spiral fluting is used on the pilasters of the chimneypiece in the yellow room at Althorp remodelled by Holland in 1790.
    Dorothy Stroud, Henry Holland 1966, figs. 105 & 78.

    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.
    This lot will be removed to an off-site warehouse at the close of business on the day of sale - 2 weeks free storage


    Provenance

    Whitbread Brewery, City of London.