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    Sale 7540

    A House on the Wiltshire Downs

    6 March 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 85

    AN IRISH GEORGE IV MAHOGANY BREAKFRONT BOOKCASE

    CIRCA 1825

    Price Realised  

    AN IRISH GEORGE IV MAHOGANY BREAKFRONT BOOKCASE
    CIRCA 1825
    Of monumental size, the triangular pediment centred with a plain shield above twelve glazed doors enclosing adjustable shelves, with twelve reeded doors below, on plinth base
    152 in. (386 cm.) high; 225 in. (571.5 cm.) wide; 26 in. (66 cm.) deep


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    The bookcase is designed in the Grecian manner with its temple pediment crowned by an escutcheon-bearing stepped plinth for a bust, that is echoed by the projecting plinth-capped side cabinets. The bookcase evokes lyric poetry with pilasters capped by Venus-pearled paterae accompanied by Apollo palms on the cabinet's paired Composite pilasters. Its commode doors are sculpted with robust reed gadroons in the manner of trompe l'oeil books in Elizabethan linen-fold fashion.

    The robust architecture of the bookcase reflects the Regency fashion promoted by the The Repository of Arts magazine issued from 1809 to 1828 by Rudolph Ackerman, such as the pattern for a Grecian bookcase designed on correct principles and published in 1824 (January, III, 3, pl. 3, p.59).

    The bookcase is likely to have been commissioned by Cornelius O' Callaghan, 1st Viscount Lismore (1775-1857), and designed for Shanbally Castle, Co. Tipperary following its completion to the designs of the architect John Nash (d.1835), Surveyor General of the Board of Works of George, Prince Regent, later George IV.

    Shanbally Castle is described in Vanishing Country Houses of Ireland, by The Knight of Glin, David J. Griffin & Nicholas K. Robinson, p. 136, as 'John Nash's most important and largest Irish Castle. Built c.1806...the castle in good repair was sold in 1954 and despite protests in the press was demolished in 1957. Its destruction was one of Ireland's great architectural losses this century'.

    Special Notice

    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

    By repute removed from Shanbally Castle, Clogheen, Co. Tipperary, Ireland prior to the castle's demolition in 1957.
    Later bequeathed to Rockwell College, Cahir, Co. Tipperary, Ireland.


    Saleroom Notice

    Please note the bookcase is signed in pencil 'Jacob Graham, Maker, 1849' to the underside of the lower right section. A 'Jacob Graham and Son' is recorded as working in Clonmel, Co. Tipperary in 1820s in Pigott's Commercial Directory, 1824.
    The bookcase should therefore be described as early Victorian and it was probably originally partially fitted into a recess at each end and some consequential alterations and replacements were probably undertaken when it was moved after Shanbally Castle's demolition in 1957.