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    Sale 7727

    Important English Furniture and Clocks

    4 June 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 33

    A WILLIAM AND MARY BLACK AND POLYCHROME 'BANTAMWORK' CABINET-ON-GILTWOOD STAND

    CIRCA 1690

    Price Realised  

    A WILLIAM AND MARY BLACK AND POLYCHROME 'BANTAMWORK' CABINET-ON-GILTWOOD STAND
    CIRCA 1690
    The cabinet decorated with Chinese figures in a landscape, enclosing ten variously-sized drawers decorated with figures, animals, birds and pavilions in landscapes, on a pierced stand centred by a flower flanked by putti amongst foliage, the angles with putti on scrolled legs and feet, the handles apparently original, refreshments to the decoration, the reverse with paper label inscribed '18'
    76 in. (193 cm.) high; 45½ in. (115.5 cm.) wide; 22¾ in. (58 cm.) deep


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    This superb cabinet is veneered with incised and richly polychromed lacquer described by Messrs Stalker and Parker in their Treatise on Japanning and Varnishing, 1688, as 'Bantamwork' and described as being 'very pretty'. The term 'Bantamwork' refers to decoration that is cut into a layer of gesso and then lacquered in colours as opposed to flat lacquer or 'japanned' decoration. The technique consisted of overlaying a base of wood with a series of increasingly fine white clays and fibrous grasses. Over this surface, lacquer was applied and polished before the design was incised and the hollowed out portions filled with colour and gilt and finished with a clear lacquer to protect it. Much of the lacquer was transhipped from China through Coromandel in India, or the Dutch colony Batavia, the former name for Djakarta, Indonesia. Although John Stalker and George Parker used the term 'Bantamwork', the contemporary layman usually called it 'cutt-work', 'cutt Japan' or 'hollow burnt Japan' (see A. Bowett, English Furniture 1660-1714 Woodbridge, 2002, p. 151-3).

    Special Notice

    Buyers from within the EU: VAT payable at 17.5% on just the buyer's premium (NOT the hammer price) Buyers from outside the EU: VAT payable at 17.5% on hammer price and buyer's premium. If a buyer, having registered under a non-EU address, decides that an item is not to be exported from the EU, then he/she should advise Christie's to this effect immediately.


    Provenance

    Sir Henry Price, Wakehurst Place, Sussex.
    Anonymous sale, Sotheby's, London, 30 November 2001, lot 76.