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    Sale 5969

    A West Country Tradition - Avon Antiques, Bradford-upon-Avon, Wiltshire

    21 May 2009, London, South Kensington

  • Lot 221

    AN EARLY VICTORIAN 'GOTHIC' OAK BOOKCASE

    CIRCA 1847

    Price Realised  

    AN EARLY VICTORIAN 'GOTHIC' OAK BOOKCASE
    CIRCA 1847
    The rectangular crenellated cornice above a pierced frieze carved with foliage centred by the initials 'HL', the left side return dated 18, the right side return dated 47, above a pair of doors with interlaced glazing bars and conforming blind side panels between finials with hound's heads, enclosing two adjustable shelves, above a pair of doors with arched panels enclosing two shelves between canted recessed panels surmounted by animal's heads (a ram, two lions, and a mouse), on a moulded plinth, the hinges stamped 'Horne's Patent'
    82 in. (208.5 cm.) high; 40½ in. (103 cm.) wide; 18 in. (46 cm.) deep


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    The richly sculpted bookcase, with its embattled cornice supported by pinnacled and lion-headed pilasters, bears an oak-wreathed 'H.L.' cypher beside the date 1847. It is conceived in the romantic 'Old English' or British fashion associated with the New Palace of Westminster Furnishings as designed under the direction of the architect Sir Charles Barry (d. 1860) by A.W.N. Pugin (d. 1853). However such chivalric embellishments and cusp-arched glazing, in the Gothic style associated with the Elizabethan age, had already been popular since 1800 (see George Smith's bookcase pattern in his Collection of Designs for Household Furniture and Interior Decoration, 1808, pl. 100). The present bookcase has been recorded at one time in Devon, so it perhaps worth noting that this patriotic style had been promoted in that area by the likes of the Hon. Newton Fellowes, later Earl of Portsmouth (d. 1854) of Eggesford House and his eclectic Devonshire architect Thomas Lee (d. 1834) (see R.A. Lauder, Vanished Houses of North Devon, 1981).

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