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    Sale 7713

    Furniture & Clocks

    23 April 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 153

    A MID-VICTORIAN GILT AND POLYCHROME REVERSE-PAINTED AND ETCHED MIRROR

    BY HOLLAND & SONS, CIRCA 1860

    Price Realised  

    A MID-VICTORIAN GILT AND POLYCHROME REVERSE-PAINTED AND ETCHED MIRROR
    BY HOLLAND & SONS, CIRCA 1860
    The arched plate with inner border comprising flowerheads and geometric shapes, enclosing a raised circular roundel with an H&S cypher at the top and scrolling foliage below, and with a similarly bordered rectangle below with central foliage motif, unframed
    69¼ x 35 in. (176 x 89 cm.)


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    Pre-Lot Text

    The Mayfair firm of Messrs. Holland & Sons were the premier cabinet-makers of the 19th century. Originally Taprell and Holland, they became Holland and Sons in 1843 and took over premises in Mount Street in 1851. The firm was appointed by Queen Victoria (d.1901) and Prince Albert (d.1862) to furnish Osborne House on the Isle of Wight in the 1840s. Shortly after, their international reputation was secured at the 1851 Great Exhibition, whose success, largely encouraged by the Prince's efforts, lead to the establishment of The South Kensington Museum (now called the Victoria & Albert Museum) dedicated to Arts and Manufactures. Holland & Sons supplied the furniture for many London clubs including the Athenaeum, the Reform Club and the Oxford and Cambridge Club. The firm's archives dating to 1942, when the firm ceased trading, are preserved in the Victoria and Albert Museum.

    The following twenty-one lots represent the diversity of style, clarity of design and unswerving quality which typifies the output of Holland & Sons. Certain constructional features are shared within the group and although not exclusive to Holland & Sons, are notable for the consistency and quality of the firm's cabinet-making. These include: drawers often mahogany-lined fitted with stabilising convex 'quarter-fillets' and chamfered drawer linings on the undersides; the drawers often have solid wood knob handles with hand-carved threads; the screw hole at the centre of the back of the drawer is often cut to allow for shrinkage; the carcases of the furniture are often in solid mahogany or in another solid timber; exotic timbers are often incorporated into the design if possible (again showing lavish use of high quality and costly timbers); the construction of the carcase is generally exceptionally tidy with neat 'pocket' screw-holes and a smart laminate frieze construction; Cope & Collinson castors are found on many legs, and in some cases the locks are made by them too; in addition castors are subtly sunk wherever possible; batten-carrying holes are often found under the legs as well as under rails; and finally, the pieces are clearly identifiable as part of the firm's output through the use of numbering, stencils, the H&S cipher as well as the clear 'HOLLAND & SONS' stamp.