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    Sale 7545

    A Town House in Mayfair

    20 November 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 669

    A VICTORIAN ORMOLU-MOUNTED WALNUT, BURR-WALNUT AND TULIPWOOD-INLAID WRITING-TABLE

    CIRCA 1860, ATTRIBUTED TO WRIGHT & MANSFIELD

    Price Realised  

    A VICTORIAN ORMOLU-MOUNTED WALNUT, BURR-WALNUT AND TULIPWOOD-INLAID WRITING-TABLE
    CIRCA 1860, ATTRIBUTED TO WRIGHT & MANSFIELD
    The rounded rectangular top with a later gilt-embossed brown leather writing surface within a burr-walnut and fruitwood inlaid border, with stiff-leaf cast gilt-brass edge, above a conforming frieze with two frieze drawers and two dummy drawers mounted with laurel-leaf and foliate escutcheons to the key holes and either end and foliate paterae at the angles, on turned fluted tapering legs headed by laurel marquetry and mounted with laurel, lotus leaf and beads, on toupie feet and brass castors, branded '209', one lock stamped 'H&C'
    28¾ in. (73 cm.) high; 55 in. (140 cm.) wide; 26½ in. (67.5 cm.) deep


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    The golden ormolu-enriched table, designed in the manner of a Louis XVI bureau-plat, evokes lyric poetry with its sunflowered bas-reliefs and pearled and laurel-wreathed columnar legs. Around 1860 this style was also associated with the Georgian architect Robert Adam (d. 1792) as was the case with the painted 'Adam' piano and a sycamore china-cabinet commissioned about 1860 by the connoisseur of 'Adam's period' decoration Sir Dudley Coutts Marjoribanks, later 1st Baron Tweedmouth (d.1896). The cabinet, like the present table, was also wreathed by laurel garlands. The Tweedmouth pieces, executed by the Great Portland Street cabinet-makers and upholsterers Messrs Alfred Thomas Wright and George Needham Mansfield, were exhibited at the 1862 London Exhibition (see J. Meyer, Great Exhibitions, Woodbridge, 2006, pp. 122-123; and E. Harris, 'Adams in the Family: Wright and Mansfield at Haddo, Guisachan, Brook House and Grosvenor Square', Furniture History, 1996 p. 144). Messrs Wright & Mansfield's most celebrated piece in their 'Adam' fashion is a jasper-inlaid cabinet shown at the Paris 1867 exhibition and now in the Victoria & Albert Museum (E. Aslin, Nineteenth Century English Furniture, 1962, fig. 42).

    The locks of the founders Huxley & Chino have also been recorded on furniture supplied at this period by the court cabinet-makers Messrs Holland & Sons, who also manufactured related furniture in 1868 for the barrister Richard Thornton of Portland Place, London, and Knowle Cottage, Devon (Christie's London, 13 September 2007, lot 1066; and R.W. Symonds and B.B. Whineray, Victorian Furniture, London, 1962, figs. 202-205).

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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

    Acquired from Jonathan Harris, London.