• 500 Years: Decorative Arts Eur auction at Christies

    Sale 7830

    500 Years: Decorative Arts Europe

    21 January 2010, London, King Street

  • Lot 125

    A REGENCY ORMOLU-MOUNTED GONCALO ALVES SIDE CABINET

    CIRCA 1815

    Price Realised  

    A REGENCY ORMOLU-MOUNTED GONCALO ALVES SIDE CABINET
    CIRCA 1815
    Of inverted breakfront outline, the shaped rectangular top with panelled plinths and lotus carved acroteria above a central open recess with two adjustable shelves, flanked by panelled and brass grille doors each enclosing two adjustable shelves and divided by panelled uprights with lion-paw feet, on a plinth base with later castors
    45¼ in. (115 cm.) high; 78¼ in. (199 cm.) wide; 19 in. (48 cm.) deep


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    The bookcase, with elegant Apollonian pedestals, epitomises the robust French/antique fashion introduced around 1810. Its bookshelf-bearing pedestals have 'commode' doors enriched with brass mosaiced trellis; while their pilasters bear sunflowered tablets and paws of 'griffin' lions. These recall the sun god Apollo, whose triumphal role as Parnassan poetry deity is likewise evoked by the palm-flowered Grecian acroteria. The latter accompany plinths that are intended for busts, such as those of Milton and Newton personifying the Arts and Sciences, as featured in an engraving issued in 1811 for a related 'fashionable dwarf library bookcase, made of mahogany ... ornamented with brass' (see R.Ackermann, The Repository of Arts). This 'Grecian Furniture' style was promoted by the Liverpool cabinet-maker George Bullock (d.1818), following the establishment of his London rooms around 1813. Ackermann illustrated a Bullock seat, supported by urn-capped pedestals, in the 1816 Repository, and praised the 'tasteful simplicity' of his work.
    Similarly flowered and paw-footed pilasters feature on bookcases designed around 1813 for Stoneleigh Abbey, Warwickshire, by the Mayfair cabinet-maker George Oakley (d.1840), following the establishment of his 'Manufactory and Magazine for fashionable Furniture on Bond Street (sold Christie's, London, 8 June 2006, lot 25).

    Special Notice

    No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 17.5% will be added to the buyer's premium, which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.


    Provenance

    Phillips, London, 22 November 1994, lot 222.
    Pelham Galleries, London, where bought by the present owner.


    Saleroom Notice

    Please note this cabinet has two adjustable shelves as per the catalogue description, the image shows only one shelf.


    Pre-Lot Text

    THE PROPERTY OF A EUROPEAN COLLECTOR