A NEAR PAIR OF GEORGE I GILT-GESSO SIDE TABLES
A NEAR PAIR OF GEORGE I GILT-GESSO SIDE TABLES
A NEAR PAIR OF GEORGE I GILT-GESSO SIDE TABLES
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A NEAR PAIR OF GEORGE I GILT-GESSO SIDE TABLES
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A NEAR PAIR OF GEORGE I GILT-GESSO SIDE TABLES

CIRCA 1725, IN THE MANNER OF JAMES MOORE

Details
A NEAR PAIR OF GEORGE I GILT-GESSO SIDE TABLES
CIRCA 1725, IN THE MANNER OF JAMES MOORE
The rectangular tops with re-entrant corners the surface decorated with cut-gesso scrolling foliage about a lambrequin drapery panel, the acanthus decorated friezes centred by a bold scrolling cartouche, on conforming cabriole legs with braganza feet, minor variations but apparently from the same workshop, re-gilt
31 ¾ in. (78 cm.) high; 36 in. (91.5 cm) wide; 19 ¾ in. (50.5cm) deep
30 ¼ in (77.5 cm.) high; 34 ¼ in. (87 cm.) wide; 19 ¾ in. (50.5 cm.) deep
Please note that 100% of the hammer proceeds from this auction will be paid to the Sandys Trust, registered charity number: 1168357, with the exception of limited deductions towards sale costs across the auction which cannot be accurately calculated at this time, capped at a total of £10,000.
Provenance
Possibly Samuel, 1st Baron Sandys (1695-1770), and by descent.
Literature
A. Oswald, 'Ombersley Court, Worcestershire - I', Country Life, 2 January 1953, p.35, pl. 3, illustrated in 'The Saloon'.

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Adrian Hume-Sayer
Adrian Hume-Sayer Director, Specialist

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Lot Essay

The tops of these tables, with their finely cut bas-relief strapwork are typical of the fashion for 'antique' decoration favoured by the court of Louis XIV. This mode of decoration was popularised in Britain by engravings published by William III's court architect Daniel Marot (d.1752).
James Moore (c.1670-1726) is recorded as working at Nottingham Court, Short's Gardens, St Giles in the Fields and is thought to have undertaken private commissions from around 1700. It is likely that he trained under the Gumleys, who were cabinet-makers and manufacturers of mirrored glass, so he would have gained valuable early experience in the use of sophisticated gilt-gesso work, generally used in the production of frames and employed in the decoration of the present tables. Moore was one of the leading exponents of this kind of work, and he is known to have supplied gilt-gesso furniture to both Queen Anne and George I for Kensington Palace, the latter whilst in partnership with John Gumley. He later went on to supply similar furniture to John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough (1650-1722) and also took over the supervision of the building work at Blenheim Palace after the dismissal of the architect Sir John Vanbrugh - where he became known as Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough's 'Oracle' (G. Beard, Dictionary of English Furniture Makers, 1660-1840, Leeds, 1986, p. 618-619).
Described as a near pair, these tables appear to have been made to the same design, apparently in the same workshop, as evidenced by the many shared constructional details. The minor differences in detail and execution likely suggest that they were either originally intended for different rooms or, more likely, that the second/additional table was commissioned to make up the pair almost immediately following the delivery of the first but after the first had left the workshop.
A gilt-gesso table of circa 1715 signed 'Moore' survives in the Royal Collection (Tessa Murdoch, 'The King's Cabinet Maker: the giltwood furniture of James Moore the Elder', The Burlington Magazine, June 2003, p 409, pl 5); another related table attributed to Moore, is illustrated and discussed in E. Lennox-Boyd, Masterpieces of English Furniture The Gerstenfeld Collection, ed., London, 1998, p. 73-75, and a further related pair of related tables, perhaps of slightly earlier date, but employing a closely related distinctive central cartouche to the frieze, was sold from the collection of Duarte Pinto Coelho, Christie's, South Kensington, 20 July 2011, lot 111 (£121,250).

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