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    Sale 7663

    Fasque The Scottish Seat of the Gladstones

    7 May 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 50



    Price Realised  


    With a rouge griotte marble tops, each with a frieze drawer and mirrored back, on lion monopodiae and plinth base, one stamped '*JACOB', the underside of one marble with a paper lable printed 'S & Co.' and inscribed 'Sir Thomas Gladstone B.T. 22 March 1853, No. 18'
    40½ in. (103 cm.) high; 53¾ in. (136.2 cm.) wide; 17 in. (43 cm.) deep (2)

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    This stamp was employed by Georges Jacob and François-Honoré-Georges Jacob-Desmalter between 1813-25.

    With their finely-carved lion-monopodiae supports, these console tables are characteristic of the oeuvre of the Jacob dynasty and almost certainly based on designs by Charles Percier (1764-1838) and Pierre-François-Léonard Fontaine (1762-1853) in their Recueil de Décorations Intérieures, Paris, 1801, pl. LXIV.

    Percier and Fontaine's revolutionary Empire style was swiftly adopted in England by the connoisseur Thomas Hope for his mansion museum in Duchess Street. The pattern for the Fasque tables corresponds closely to a pair in the Flaxman Room or Aurora 'Breakfast Room' of Thomas Hope's mansion/museum in Duchess Street (T. Hope, Household Furniture and Interior Decoration, 1807, pl. VII). The centrepiece of the room was Flaxman's marble group of Aurora and Cephalus and the text comments that 'the whole surrounding decoration has been rendered, in some degree, analogous to these personages, and to the face of nature at the moment when the first of the two, the goddess of the morn, is supposed to announce approaching day'.

    The firm of Jacob-Desmalter (1803-1813), renowned for its exceptional carved furniture, finest mahogany veneers and goût précurseur was formed by the celebrated menuisier Georges Jacob (1739-1814), maître in 1765, and his son François-Honoré-Georges Jacob, dit 'Jacob-Desmalter' (1770-1841). F.-H.-G. Jacob is recorded to have used the stamp 'IACOB' from 1813 - a year before the death of Jacob père - to 1825, and it is most likely that these tables were executed under F.-H.-G. Jacob's direction.

    Interestingly, Sir John Gladstone's younger son Tom was attached to the Ambassador Lord Granville at the British Embassy in Paris in 1825 - and it is very probable that these consoles were brought back from this diplomatic mission. That Sir John and his son Thomas were prepared to acquire the finest Empire furniture from Jacob is confirmed by their purchase of a superb pair of Japanese lacquer side cabinets by Jacob D. Rue Meslée (a stamp they used between 1803-13) which were shown by Galerie Kugel, Paris at Maastricht in 2008. This lacquer pair are en suite with those acquired by Thomas, 2nd Marquess of Bath for Longleat House, Wiltshire (sold in these Rooms, 13 June 2002, lot 330) as well as a secretaire and further pair of side cabinets in the Royal Collection at Windsor Castle, which had been acquired by George IV from the Parisian dealer Benois in 1828. Could all of the lacquer suite - as well as these consoles - perhaps have been comissioned by the Imperial Garde-Meuble and sold off during the 1820s?

    Closely related console tables executed by the firm of Jacob-Desmalter are in the château de Fontainebleau, amongst which are a console table dated 1808 and featuring comparable lion-monopodiae supports (illustrated in S. Grandjean, Empire Furniture, 1800-1825, London, 1966, pl. 45) and further console tables dated 1804 (illustrated in J-P. Samoyault, Meubles entrés sour le Premier Empire, Paris, 2004, pp. 94-96.)

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    Possibly acquired by Sir John Gladstone for Seaforth House, Liverpool, while his son Tom was attached to Lord Granville at the British Embassy in Paris in 1825.