• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 7614

    19th Century Furniture, Sculpture, Works of Art and Ceramics

    24 September 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 74

    A PAIR OF ENGLISH LACQUERED-BRASS AND PORCELAIN-MOUNTED EBONY AND TULIPWOOD PARQUETRY CABINETS-ON-STANDS

    ATTRIBUTED TO GILLOWS, THIRD QUARTER 19TH CENTURY

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A PAIR OF ENGLISH LACQUERED-BRASS AND PORCELAIN-MOUNTED EBONY AND TULIPWOOD PARQUETRY CABINETS-ON-STANDS
    ATTRIBUTED TO GILLOWS, THIRD QUARTER 19TH CENTURY
    Each with a broken pediment surmounted by a balustrade, above a central glazed door with gothic foil panelled top and cut-out foliate lattice frame, enclosing a blue-velvet lined shelved interior, between a parquetry door to each side inset with a rectangular porcelain plaque finely painted with a Herculaneum maiden emblematic of a season and flanked by barley-twist columns, above three frieze drawers, atop a a base inset with a white marble top above a geometric carved frieze fronted by a long drawer, supported to the front by two Corinthian columns on bun-feet, joined by an arched moulding to a mirrored backplate
    88½ in. (223.5 cm.) high; 52 in. (132 cm.) wide; 22½ in. (57 cm.) deep (2)


    Contact Client Service
    • info@christies.com

    • New York +1 212 636 2000

    • London +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    • Hong Kong +852 2760 1766

    • Shanghai +86 21 6355 1766

    Although apparently unmarked these cabinets bear stylistic and constructional features indicative of Gillows. This eminent firm of cabinet-makers, founded around 1730 by Robert Gillow in his native Lancaster and in London from 1769, had by 1863 received the Royal Warrant and were producing an astonishing range of furniture including neo-Gothic designs for the New Palace of Westminster and the Great Midland Hotel., St. Pancras.

    The brass grilles to the cabinets are of a type supplied by John Hardman & Co., 'Mediaeval Metalworkers' of Birmingham (1838-1900) to the firm of J. G. Crace (d. 1889), but are also found on furniture stamped by Gillows. For example a small cabinet and a writing table, en suite, both stamped 'Gillow' and featuring comparable brass gothic grilles sold Sotheby's, London, 2 April 1993, lots 59 & 60. Furthermore the drawers to the cabinets have the characteristic Gillows feature of slots cut out at the back around the screws to allow shrinkage without splitting the base boards.

    Although originally of French inspiration, the fashion for porcelain-mounted furniture was promoted in Britain during the 19th century as part of the 'Louis Seize' revival. At the London International Exhibition of 1862, Gillows exhibited an 'exceedingly graceful' cabinet inset with porcelain plaques by Copeland which was bought by H. J. Allcroft for Lancaster Gate, London and later removed to Stokesay Court, Shropshire (sold Sotheby's, Stokesay Court, 28 September 1994, lot 142). Here the porcelain panels, finely painted with Menade danzante emblematic of the seasons, are after engravings from the popularly reproduced Le Antichità di Ercolano Esposte (The Antiquities of Herculaneum), Accademia Ercolanese, Naples, 1755-1792.

    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.