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    Sale 7560

    Furniture and Carpets Including Two Private Collections

    24 January 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 122

    A REGENCY PARCEL-GILT AND POLYCHROME-DECORATED PLASTER NODDING HEAD FIGURE

    CIRCA 1810

    Price Realised  

    A REGENCY PARCEL-GILT AND POLYCHROME-DECORATED PLASTER NODDING HEAD FIGURE
    CIRCA 1810
    Modelled as a Chinese dignitary with a circular cap and a beard, clad in a traditional garb and holding a candle nozzle in his left hand, refreshments to the decoration
    31 in. (79 cm.) high; 12 in. (30.5 cm.) wide, approx; 9 in. (23 cm.) deep


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    While traditionally associated with the Brighton Pavilion style in the early nineteenth century, the fashion for chinoiserie nodding-head figures was documented in the 1760's and 1770's in England and Continental Europe. The famous Zoffany portrait depicting Queen Charlotte in her Dressing Room at Buckingham Palace painted in 1764 shows two such figures in the background (C.Saumarez Smith, Eighteenth Century Decoration, New York, 1993, p.255, fig.246). Similarly, figures imported from China in the Danish Royal collection were purchased at auction in 1777 and are discussed in B.Dam-Mikkelsen and T. Lundback, Ethnographic Objects in the Royal Danish Kunsthammer 1650-1800, Copenhagen, 1980, pp.173-179.

    A group of related nodding-head figures were sold from the property of David Style, Esq., Christie's house sale, Wateringbury Place, Maidstone, Kent, 31 May-2 June 1978, lots 200-204. Some of these figures are signed 'J.D. Gianelli...August 25 1807'. Gianelli was probably Dominico Gianelli (d. 1841), assumed to be the son of the sculptor in plaster J.B. Gianelli, who supplied four statues for the Great Hall of Carlton House in 1789 (see R. Gunnis, The Dictionary of British Sculptors, 1965, pp. 166-67). Four of the figures from the Wateringbury Place sale were fitted with their original painted hurricane shades, and it is likely that this figure originally supported a similar shade while only the nozzle has been retained.

    Special Notice

    VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price and at 15% on the buyer's premium


    Provenance

    Anonymous sale, Christie's, London, 28 June 1984, lot 45.
    Anonymous sale, Christie's, New York, 22 April 1999, lot 101.
    With Gurr Johns, London, 1999.