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    Sale 7806

    Lord St. Helens and Sir William FitzHerbert The Collections of a Diplomat and a Courtier

    22 January 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 550

    A GEORGE IV ROSEWOOD AND SPECIMEN MARBLE CENTRE TABLE

    CIRCA 1820-25, ATTRIBUTED TO GILLOWS, THE ITALIAN SPECIMEN MARBLE TOP PROBABLY BOUGHT ON THE GRAND TOUR

    Price Realised  

    A GEORGE IV ROSEWOOD AND SPECIMEN MARBLE CENTRE TABLE
    CIRCA 1820-25, ATTRIBUTED TO GILLOWS, THE ITALIAN SPECIMEN MARBLE TOP PROBABLY BOUGHT ON THE GRAND TOUR
    The circular top inset with radiating bands of specimen marbles including amethyst, malachite, porphyry, pietra paescene, and agates with a central panel of lapis lazuli and within a verde antico border, within a further ebony border and carved to the edge with acanthus, above a bead-and-reel frieze, the baluster shaft carved with spirally-turned acanthus and tripartite panelled base with gadrooned edge, on triple acanthus-capped claw feet and recessed castors, the underside of the marble inscribed 'Sir Henry FitzHerbert' and 'Front', with batten carrying-holes
    32¼ in. (82 cm.) high; 45 in. (114 cm.) diameter


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    This drawing-room table displays a Florentine marble mosaiced top framed in 'bronze black' ebony; while its tripodic altar frame is executed in 'Grecian' black-figured rosewood. Amongst the retailers of such richly polychromed table tops was the Rome-based merchant François de Sanctis, who sold a similar one to R.W. Bland of Belfast. It was shipped from Leghorn in 1826, although its accompanying booklet indicated that it was manufactured in Florence in 1817 and was inscribed 'Pietre in Tavola Rotunda Firenze' (sold Christie's New York, 29 January 1994, lot 305). A similar lapis-centred top, together with some thirty-two identified marbles, is displayed in London's Geological Museum. Another Grecian table - undoubtedly executed in the same workshop - and possibly commissioned by the Marquess of Zetland for St. Nicholas after he purchased the estate in 1813, was sold from the collection of the late Lady Serena James, St. Nicholas, Richmond, Yorkshire, Christie's London, 16 May 2001, lot 260 (£75,250).

    The present table's robustly carved frame relates to that of a circular sofa-table illustrated about 1820 in a drawing room plan by Gillow of Oxford Street (see S. E. Stuart, Gillows of Lancaster and London, Woodbridge, 2008, vol II, p. 349). With its triumphal palm enrichments and festive lion-paw 'claw', it relates in particular to the 'Handsome pillar and claw [table] richly carved in rosewood' that the firm executed in 1821 for a circular marble slab provided by Stephen Tempest of Broughton Hall, Yorkshire (Stuart, ibid, vol I, p. 337, pl. 391).

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    Provenance

    Probably commissioned by Lord St. Helens (1753-1839) for his house in Grafton Street, and by descent to his nephew
    Sir Henry FitzHerbert, 3rd Bt. (1783-1858), at Tissington Hall.