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    Sale 7627

    Dealing in Excellence: A Celebration of Hotspur and Jeremy

    20 November 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 119

    A REGENCY ORMOLU-MOUNTED AND PARCEL-GILT ROSEWOOD CHIFFONIER-SECRETAIRE

    ATTRIBUTED TO JOHN MCLEAN, EARLY 19TH CENTURY

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A REGENCY ORMOLU-MOUNTED AND PARCEL-GILT ROSEWOOD CHIFFONIER-SECRETAIRE
    ATTRIBUTED TO JOHN MCLEAN, EARLY 19TH CENTURY
    The eared rectangular shelf with reeded edge and solid rosewood two-tier mirror-backed superstructure with pierced three-quarter gallery, the ends filled with pierced trellis, above a fitted secretaire drawer with cedar-lined drawers and pigeon-holes between caryatid female term uprights, above a pair of doors with inset ovals enclosing two adjustable shelves with boxwood-strung edges, between panelled uprights with lions suspending trails of fruit, on reeded tapering toupie feet, the backboard painted black and with remains of red sealing-wax
    58¼ in. (148 cm.) high; 36¾ in. (92.5 cm.) wide; 15¾ in. (40 cm.) deep


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    This ormolu-mounted and parcel-gilt rosewood chiffonier-secretaire typifies the high quality work of the Little Newport Street and Upper Marrylebone Street cabinet-makers John McLean and Son (active 1770-1815). Although unlabelled, it can be attributed to the firm through its distinct fusion of Egyptian and Grecian motifs with 19th century Parisian fashion. The firm advertised that it specialised in 'Elegant Parisian Furniture', but like other examples by the firm, the secretaire has a clear English restraint. The toupie feet and overall form draw inspiration of Louis XIV French furniture, while the use of metal mounts and solid Rosewood is charactersitic of McLean and Son's work. Its overall from, with its mirror-backed 'chiffonier' gallery for books and dcorative objects, relates to a pattern for a black rosewood 'Lady's Secretary' in Thomas Sheraton's Drawing-Book, 1791-94, pl. XLI.

    A chiffonier-secretaire almost identical to the present lot and attributed to Jon McLean was sold by the late Tom Devenish, Sotheby's, New York, 24 April 2008, lot 173. A chiffonier almost identical to the present lot but with rectangular panelled doors is at the Victoria and Albert Museum and bears the label of 'J. McLean and Son', of the type used after 1805. Another chiffonier attributed to McLean and almost identical to the latter and present lot is illustrated in Simon Redburn, 'John McLean and Son', Furniture History, 1978, pl. 33A. In addition, another almost identical chiffonier-secretaire with rectangular panelled doors was sold, by the late Algernon Rothman, Esq., Christie's, London, 5 October 1995, lot 214.

    Special Notice

    This lot will be sold under the Alpha scheme. If you are an EU Purchaser, there is effectively no change: VAT is charged at 17.5% on the buyer''s premium ONLY on a VAT inclusive basis. VAT is accounted for under the auctioneer''s margin scheme. If you are a non-EU Purchaser: VAT, at 17.5%, will be payable on both the hammer price and the buyer''s premium. VAT on the hammer will be refunded upon receipt of export documentation by the VAT department. Non-EU trading businesses can receive a further VAT refund on the buyer''s premium directly from HM Revenue and Customs.