A Louis XV giltwood canapé à oreilles
Supplied by Nicolas Heurtaut (d. 1771), one of the greatest maître sculpteurs of the Louis XV period, this spectacular canapé is a superb example of the ‘symmetric rococo’ of the mid-18th century. Carved with floral trails meandering through the pierced scrolls of the sinuously curved frame, the design for this canapé was almost certainly inspired by the drawings of Juste-Aurèle Meissonnier as well as the very avant-garde designs of the architect Pierre Contant d’Ivry, one of the main protagonists of the ‘symmetric rococo’ that was pioneered in the mid-1750s.
While the original commission of this canapé is yet to be revealed, the client list of Heurtaut, who as both sculpteur and menuisier ornamented his own seat-furniture, included not only the duc de Jaucourt and the Duc de la Rochefoucault as well as the Comtesse de Séran and the Duchesse d'Enville, but also the Prince de Conti, for whom heurtaut made a closely related set of fauteuils
A Louis XV giltwood canapé à oreilles. By Nicolas Heurtaut, circa 1753 — 55. 38 in. (97 cm.) high; 57 in. (145 cm.) wide; 23 in. (58 cm.) deep. Estimate: £150,000-250,000. This piece and those below are offered in the Exceptional Sale in London on 9 July
The Cremorne Candelabra
The Cremorne Candelabra. A pair of George III silver two-light candelabra. Mark of John Wakelin and William Taylor, London, 1790. The branches 1791. 17 ½ in. (44.5 cm.) high 181 oz. 16 dwt. (5,655 gr.) Estimate: £300,000-500,000
These candelabra are the pair tantalising referred to in the 1792 entry for the Anglesey Candelabra, sold in the Exceptional Sale on 4 July 2013, lot 1. The gentleman’s ledger for the partnership of John Wakelin and William Taylor describes the pattern as ‘like Cremorne’s’. Having remained in the family’s possession, the Cremorne candelabra are appearing at auction for the first time. Their much admired form, designed in the ‘Roman fashion’ with extraordinarily fine spiral fluting, has a timeless quality which seems fitting for both the 18th and 21st centuries.
They are a testament to the skill and virtuosity of the silversmiths’ workshop and the taste of Thomas Dawson, 1st Viscount Cremorne (1725–1813). Cremorne House in Cheslea was the centre of a fashionable salon of friends, and his wife was a lady-in-waiting to Queen Charlotte. They were early patrons of Sir Thomas Lawrence and Dawson commissioned James Wyatt to create a mausoleum for his beloved first wife.
The Monson Wanstead Chairs
The Monson Wanstead Chairs. A pair of George I gilt-gesso open armchairs. Attributed to James Moore, circa 1720. Estimate: £250,000-400,000
This magnificent pair of George I gilt-gesso open armchairs, attributed to the Royal cabinet-maker James Moore, are a remarkable survival from the 1720s. They retain their original needlework and silver-gilt ‘arras’ brocade. This pair and a second pair, also to be sold, were part of a set of 12 chairs almost certainly commissioned by Sir Richard Child, 3rd Baronet, later Viscount Castlemaine and Earl Tylney of Castlemaine (d. 1750), for his magnificent Palladian mansion, Wanstead House, Essex.
The set of chairs passed by descent to Sir James Tylney-Long, 7th Baronet (d. 1794), and were subsequently sold in pairs in the famous 1822 sale at Wanstead House. Four pairs from the set sold to Philip John Miles of Leigh Court, Somerset, and King’s Weston, Gloucestershire, but they no longer retain the original early 18th century upholstery and have since been dispersed. The other two pairs were given in the mid-1850s to William John Monson, 6th Baron Monson (d. 1862), of Burton Hall, Lincolnshire, and have remained in the Monson family.
The Dundas Mirrors
The Dundas Mirrors. A pair of early George III giltwood cartouche-shaped girandoles. By France & Bradburn, 1764. 73 ½ × 40 ½ in. (187 × 103 cm.) and 74 ½ × 39 ½ in. (189 × 100 cm.) Estimate: £400,000-600,000
This pair of magnificent giltwood girandoles was supplied in 1764 by the Royal cabinet-making partnership, William France and John Bradburn, to Sir Lawrence Dundas, 1st Baronet, for his London residence, 19 Arlington Street. The girandoles cost the princely sum of £97 12s.
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Sir Lawrence Dundas was a towering figure of the 18th century, an outstanding merchant-venturer, banker, property magnate, politician and patron of the arts. In 1762, he was raised to the Baronetcy, and the following year purchased Moor Park, Hertfordshire, and 19 Arlington Street shortly thereafter, engaging the foremost architect-designer, Robert Adam, to make improvements at both properties.
Lord Dundas also commissioned the finest craftsmen, including Thomas Chippendale and France & Bradburn, probably on Adam’s recommendation, to supply elaborately carved and giltwood furniture. These girandoles illustrate a particularly interesting moment in British furniture design when classical ornament was combined with rococo forms, thus foreshadowing the emergence of neoclassicism.
An Anglo-Indian rosewood and engraved Ivory kneehole desk or dressing-table
An Anglo-Indian rosewood and engraved Ivory kneehole desk or dressing-table. Vizagapatam, circa 1740. 33 ¼ in. (84.5 cm.) high; 41 ¼ in. (105 cm.) wide; 25 ½ in. (65 cm.) deep. Estimate: £200,000-300,000
This delicately ornamented Anglo-Indian kneehole dressing-table or writing-table dates from the 1740s– 50s. It is inlaid with ivory marquetry, which is intricately engraved in a painterly fashion with ‘lac’, and features exuberant indigenous flora that derive from fashionable Indian chintz textiles, a technique associated with the East Indian port of Vizagapatam on the Coromandel Coast.
Vizagapatam furniture was enthusiastically collected by the Nabobs, conspicuously wealthy Europeans who made their fortune in the Indian subcontinent; a very similar Vizagapatam dressing-table/writing-table acquired by Major-General Robert Clive, ‘Clive of India’, is now at Powis Castle, Wales, and another closely related dressing-table/writing-table was formerly in the collection of Warren Hastings, Governor-General of Bengal from 1773 to 1785; Hastings subsequently gave some of his Anglo-Indian pieces to Queen Charlotte who also had a passion for this type of furniture.
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