• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 2042

    Important English Furniture

    17 October 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 96

    A GEORGE III WHITE-PAINTED LIBRARY BOOKCASE

    CIRCA 1765

    Price Realised  

    A GEORGE III WHITE-PAINTED LIBRARY BOOKCASE
    CIRCA 1765
    With adjustable shelves, lacking a back, the sides cut for a dado rail, repainted and with traces of earlier green and grey-painted schemes
    106¼ in. (270 cm.) high, 94½ in. (240 cm.) wide, 17¾ in. (45 cm.) deep


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    This stone-white japanned bookcase, enriched with fretted ribbon-guilloches, reflects the 1750s George II 'Modern' fashion, while its 'commode' doors are enriched in the French manner with reeded and hollow-cornered tablets as popularised by one of Thomas Chippendale's 1759 bookcase patterns ( T. Chippendale, The Gentleman and Cabinet-makers Director, 3rd ed. 1762 (pl. 87). Its cornice is wreathed by a flowered and gothic-cusped fret; while its frieze displays a Roman dentillated fret, such as Chippendale adopted about 1770 for a double chest-of-drawers (chest-on-chest) supplied to Nostell Priory, Yorkshire (see C. Gilbert,The Life and Work of Thomas Chippendale, 1978, fig. 207).

    The present bookcase is reputed to have been acquired directly from Corsham Court. As such, it may have formed part of the furnishings supplied in the early 1760s to Sir Paul Methuen (d.1795) at Corsham Court, Wiltshire, where it would have haromonized with the Gothic stuccoed ornaments introduced under the guidance of the architects Henry Keene (d.1767) and Lancelot 'Capability' Brown (d.1783).

    Provenance

    By repute, the Lords Methuen, Corsham Court, Wiltshire.


    Saleroom Notice

    As stated in the catalogue, this bookcase does not have any backing (the catalogue illustration shows the wall of the photo studio behind the shelving).