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A GEORGE IV MAHOGANY PEDESTAL LIBRARY DESK in the Gothic style and probably designed by William Porden, the canted rectangular red leather-lined top with moulded edge above three panelled frieze drawers to each side, the central drawer centred by a quatrefoil, the front with three further conforming drawers in each pedestal flanking a arched kneehole, the reverse with panelled doors flanking a conforming kneehole on plinth base

Details
A GEORGE IV MAHOGANY PEDESTAL LIBRARY DESK in the Gothic style and probably designed by William Porden, the canted rectangular red leather-lined top with moulded edge above three panelled frieze drawers to each side, the central drawer centred by a quatrefoil, the front with three further conforming drawers in each pedestal flanking a arched kneehole, the reverse with panelled doors flanking a conforming kneehole on plinth base
73¼in. (186cm.) wide; 31½in. (80cm.) high; 43in. (109cm.) deep
Provenance
By repute, supplied to the 1st Marquess of Westminster, Eaton Hall, Cheshire

Lot Essay

The desk, with its chamfered and triumphal pointed-arch façades, creates a 'picturesque' effect through a moulded tracery of mediaeval gothic cusps and quatrefoils. It typifies the 'Ancient British' style that derived in part from Westminster Abbey's Tudor Chapel and was introduced by architects such as James Wyatt (d. 1813). It became particularly fashionable during the second decade of the 19th century, after its adoption by George, Prince Regent, later King George IV, for the furnishings of Carlton House, his London palace. The architect William Porden (d. 1822) who, like Wyatt, was patronised by the Prince Regent, considered the style appropriately picturesque for the baronial residence which he created at this period for Robert Grosvenor, 1st Marquess of Westminster (d. 1846) at Eaton Hall, Cheshire (see: J. and I. C. Buckler, Views of Eaton Hall in Chester, London, 1826). The desk is reputed to have come from the library at Eaton Hall, and so would have formed part of the furnishings supplied in the early 1820s under the direction of the Marquess Clerk of Works, Benjamin Gummow
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