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David William Murray, 3rd Earl of Mansfield (d. 1840), Scone Palace, Perthshire; and by descent until sold Christie's, London, 24 May 2007, lot. 400
Following an early career as a Durham carpenter, William Atkinson (d.1839) trained in the London office of celebrated architect James Wyatt, eventually succeeding him as Architect to the Board of Ordnance. By c.1800 Atkinson had achieved independence, going on to become a prominent country house architect receiving prestigious commissions, such as to design and furnish a residence at St. Helena for the defeated Emperor Napoleon. Atkinson's undertakings in furniture design are documented in drawings held in the family archives at Scone Palace, Perthshire, which he reconstructed for the 3rd Earl of Mansfield. The drawings demonstrate a translation of Atkinson's baronial antique Gothic architectural style into furniture design; several were published in the sale catalogue from Christie's London, 'Scone Palace and Blairquhan', 24 May 2007. The use of ebony-inlay to articulate the ornament of the Scone furniture supports the supposition that this was the work of cabinet-maker George Bullock (d.1818). Atkinson and Bullock certainly collaborated on the interiors of Abbotsford, Roxburghshire, home or Sir Walter Scott, where letters demonstrate a close working relationship between the pair.