• English Furniture and Clocks auction at Christies

    Sale 7769

    English Furniture and Clocks

    19 November 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 10

    A PAIR OF SCOTTISH GEORGE III GILTWOOD AND CARTON PIERRE MIRRORS

    CIRCA 1760

    Price Realised  

    A PAIR OF SCOTTISH GEORGE III GILTWOOD AND CARTON PIERRE MIRRORS
    CIRCA 1760
    Each with a rectangular plate within a pierced scrolled and foliate and rockwork surround with rosette lattice panels, surmounted by a pediment with an urn finial and overhanging palm leaves, with three layers of decoration, the present oil gilding 19th century, the reverse of one mirror inscribed 'John Norrie (?) Edin'
    52 x 27½ in. (132 x 70 cm.) (2)


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    The window-pier mirrors, with urn-capped temple pediments and rustic pillars reflect the George II 'Modern' fashion popularised by Thomas Chippendale's, Gentleman and Cabinet-Maker's Director (1754); and evoke lyric poetry and the triumph of the light-giving deity Apollo according to Ovid's Metamorphoses (Loves of the Gods). Each tympanum displays Love's sacred urn shaded by palms that issue from the gothic-pointed and naturally serpentined arch of a water-dripping grotto, which is railed by flowered-trellis recalling Rome's Temple of Venus. James Paine was foremost amongst the architects working in this French 'picturesque' manner, and supervised the embellishment of Felbrigg Hall, Norfolk, where a closely related japanned and gilded mirror has been identified with a design for a bedchamber pier-glass executed in 1752 by the Bow Street carver John Bladwell (d.1768) (M. Snodin, ed. Rococo, 1984, no. L27). The present frames are possibly designed to redisplay the mirror-plate from early 18th century glasses.

    The inscription on the reverse of one mirror may refer to James Norie, or his eldest son, also James. The former was a notable painter of decorative landscapes and was assisted in his work as house painter and decorator by his sons James (d.1736) and Robert. Among their work was the decoration of the State Bedroom at Hopetoun House in 1739 and the business persisted until the mid-19th century. Another James Norrie is listed in Francis Bamford, A Dictionary of Edinburgh Furniture Makers, Leeds, 1983, p.92 as Deacon of the Incorporation of Wrights 1743-45. We are grateful to Sebastian Pryke for his help in preparing this note.

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    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.


    Provenance

    Possibly supplied to William Duff, created 1st Earl of Fife in 1759 (d.1763) who acquired Orton House, Morayshire, in the mid-18th century, and by descent to his daughter
    Sophia (d.1826), who married Thomas Wharton in 1774, Orton House, Morayshire and by descent in the Wharton Duff family.


    Pre-Lot Text

    THE PROPERTY OF A GENTLEMAN