A PAIR OF SOAPSTONE-MOUNTED AND GLAZED CABINETS-ON-STANDS
A PAIR OF SOAPSTONE-MOUNTED AND GLAZED CABINETS-ON-STANDS
A PAIR OF SOAPSTONE-MOUNTED AND GLAZED CABINETS-ON-STANDS
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A PAIR OF SOAPSTONE-MOUNTED AND GLAZED CABINETS-ON-STANDS
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Prospective purchasers are advised that several co… Read more
A PAIR OF CHINESE EXPORT SOAPSTONE-MOUNTED AND GLAZED CABINETS-ON-STANDS

ONE OF MAHOGANY, GEORGE II, CIRCA 1750, ATTRIBUTED TO WILLIAM HALLETT, THE SECOND OF INDIAN ROSEWOOD, EXPORT, LATE 18TH/EARLY 19TH CENTURY

Details
A PAIR OF CHINESE EXPORT SOAPSTONE-MOUNTED AND GLAZED CABINETS-ON-STANDS
ONE OF MAHOGANY, GEORGE II, CIRCA 1750, ATTRIBUTED TO WILLIAM HALLETT, THE SECOND OF INDIAN ROSEWOOD, EXPORT, LATE 18TH/EARLY 19TH CENTURY
Each with a door with six panels depicting domestic interiors with groups of figures and furnishings, all on cinnabar backgrounds, the mahogany cabinet fitted with six pigeon-holes, the stands with ribbon and rosette moulding above a plain frieze, on cabriole legs headed by shell and foliate clasps and with claw and ball feet, differences in the brass handles and in construction, the mahogany cabinet altered, originally fitted with drawers with the soapstone panels as drawer fronts, the rosewood cabinet finished on the reverse
The mahogany cabinet 50 ½ in. (128 cm.) high; 28 in. (71 cm.) wide; 18 ¼ in. (47 cm.) deep, the rosewood cabinet 50 ¾ in. (129 cm.) high; 28 in. (71 cm.) wide; 18 ¼ in. (47 cm.) deep
Provenance
Anonymous sale, Sotheby's, London, 16 July 1982, lot 92
Special notice

Prospective purchasers are advised that several countries prohibit the importation of property containing materials from endangered species, including but not limited to coral, ivory and tortoiseshell. Accordingly, prospective purchasers should familiarize themselves with relevant customs regulations prior to bidding if they intend to import this lot into another country.
VAT rate of 20% is payable on hammer price and buyer's premium
Specified lots are being stored at Crozier Park Royal (details below) or will be removed from Christie’s, 8 King Street, London, SW1Y 6QT by 5.00pm on the day of the sale. Christie’s will inform you if the lot has been sent offsite. If the lot has been transferred to Crozier Park Royal, it will be available for collection from 12.00pm on the second business day following the sale. Please call Christie’s Client Service 24 hours in advance to book a collection time at Crozier Park Royal. All collections from Crozier Park Royal will be by pre-booked appointment only. Tel: +44 (0)20 7839 9060 Email: cscollectionsuk@christies.com. If the lot remains at Christie’s, 8 King Street, it will be available for collection on any working day (not weekends) from 9.00am to 5.00pm

Lot Essay

This fascinating pair of cabinets perfectly reflect the profound influence of the East India Company trade on English cabinet-makers and patrons throughout the 18th and early 19th century. Intriguingly, whilst the earlier mahogany cabinet was made in England around 1750, the rosewood cabinet was expressly commissioned, perhaps in India or the Far East, to form a pair.
The George II mahogany cabinet, originally fitted with six drawers with the drawer fronts formed by the soapstone panels is supported on a superbly-carved stand that displays a collar encircling the lower part of the leg, a distinctive feature of the furniture that William Hallett supplied to Viscount Irwin, delivered on 9 August 1735. Shortly after Lord Irwin's death the following year the suite was taken to Temple Newsam, remaining there until the dispersal sale in 1922. The suite was illustrated along with the original invoice in C. Gilbert, 'Newly-Discovered Furniture by William Hallett', The Connoisseur, December 1964, pp. 224-225. William Hallett Snr, was established in Gt. Newport St, Long Acre,in 1735 but despite an illustrious career including major commissions for Holkham, Norfolk (1737 - 52), Cannon Hall, Yorks (1741) and St. Giles's, Dorset (1745 - 46) it seems he probably retired from the trade after his second marriage in 1756; he died in 1781. His son however, William Hallet Jnr did continue in business for some years though he pre-deceased his father.
The second cabinet, made of Indian rosewood, differs in notable ways, for example in the fitting of the door and the stand being finished on the reverse, certainly unconventional in the context of English cabinet-making. However, the metal side handles are of Chinese pattern and infer that this was executed overseas by way of a special commission.
Cabinets of this type were certainly popular items in the mid 18th century, offering opportunities to display precious or exotic works of art incorporated into cabinets offering some useful function. A cabinet in the Chinese style with similar soapstone figures on imitation lacquer background, supplied for Langley Park, Norfolk, is illustrated in Anthony Coleridge, Chippendale Furniture, London, 1968, fig. 270.

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