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A GEORGE II GILTWOOD EIGHT-BRANCH CHANDELIER
A GEORGE II GILTWOOD EIGHT-BRANCH CHANDELIER
A GEORGE II GILTWOOD EIGHT-BRANCH CHANDELIER
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A GEORGE II GILTWOOD EIGHT-BRANCH CHANDELIER
21 More
Specified lots (sold and unsold) marked with a fil… Read more THE LONGLEAT GILTWOOD CHANDELIER
A GEORGE II GILTWOOD EIGHT-BRANCH CHANDELIER

ATTRIBUTED TO BENJAMIN GOODISON, CIRCA 1720-30

Details
A GEORGE II GILTWOOD EIGHT-BRANCH CHANDELIER
ATTRIBUTED TO BENJAMIN GOODISON, CIRCA 1720-30
Decorated overall with a pounced and hatched ground, the turned spreading top above a frieze-band of curling 'Prince of Wales' feathers, and scrolled acanthus, the vase-shaped body issuing eight scrolled S-shaped branches decorated with lotus-bud clasps and foliage, and terminating in turned drip-pans decorated with a lappeted band, with later brass inset drip-pans and nozzles, each branch above a herm with alternating helmetted male and crowned female heads, the central body decorated with a Greek-key band with four-petal flowerheads, above a downswept part-fluted vase-shaped body, with further scrolls above a turned tapering lotus bud clasp, various restorations, refreshments to the original gilding
30 in. high (76 cm.) high; 32 in. (81.5 cm.) diameter
Provenance
Supplied to Thomas Thynne, 2nd Viscount Weymouth (d. 1751), Longleat, Wiltshire, and recorded in the inventory dated 15th September 1740 in the 'Great Parlour' (room 77) as 'a Fine Carved & Gilt Chandeleer of 8 Branches with a round Affixt to the Ceiling hung with Crimson Silk Tassells & Lines'.
By descent at Longleat until at least the mid-twentieth century.
Duke's of Dorchester, November 2008 (private treaty sale).
Literature
R. Guilding, ‘Jasper Wares’, World of Interiors, April 2021, illustrated p. 160.
Exhibited
Previously on loan to English Heritage at Chiswick House.
Special Notice

Specified lots (sold and unsold) marked with a filled square not collected from Christie’s, 8 King Street, London SW1Y 6QT by 5.00pm on the day of the sale will, at our option, be removed to Crozier Park Royal (details below). Christie’s will inform you if the lot has been sent offsite. If the lot is transferred to Crozier Park Royal, it will be available for collection on the third business day after 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

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Benedict Winter
Benedict Winter Specialist, Private Collections

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Lot Essay


This golden chandelier, wrapped by palms and Roman foliage and displaying a stately plume-wreathed urn, celebrating 'ancient virtue', was commissioned by Thomas Thynne, 2nd Viscount Weymouth (d.1751) for the 'Great Parlour' (now the Green Library), adjoining the Banqueting-Hall at Longleat House, Wiltshire. Lord Weymouth, 'Ranger' of King George II's Hyde and St. James's Parks, had inherited Longleat from his great uncle in 1714 when he was only four years old. The new chandelier replaced 'A Large Glass Chandeleer with 7 branches' listed in the Great Parlour in an inventory of 23rd September 1719. In a later inventory drawn up on 15th September 1740, the new chandelier was described as 'a Fine Carved & Gilt Chandeleer of 8 Branches with a round Affixt to the Ceiling hung with Crimson Silk Tassells & Lines'. Its sacred urn is lit from serpentined candle-branches that rise from trussed-herm caryatids tied by a jewelled garter to an octagonal pedestal-shaft enriched with a festive-flowered ribbon-fret terminating in a thyrsus finial. Its acanthus-wrapped trusses support alternating male and female busts, representing ancient worthies clad in triumphal parade helmets or coronets.

Its heroic ornament would have harmonised with the stone figures displayed on Longleat's balustrade which, alongside Henry V, featured the Emperor Alexander whose bust was also displayed on the Parlour chimneypiece. This chandelier is likely to have been introduced after Lord Weymouth returned from his Grand Tour in 1733 and embarked on stone and carpentry work at the house. It was the architect James Gibbs (d. 1754) that Lord Weymouth turned to for these improvements (T. Friedman, James Gibbs, London, 1984, pp. 148, 149 and 325). Indeed much of the ornament of this chandelier reflects the antique manner promoted by Gibbs through his Book of Architecture, 1728. However, its design evolved from chandeliers in the Louis XIV manner that featured in the Nouveaux Livre d'Orfèverie, c. 1700, published by King William III's 'architect' Daniel Marot (d. 1752). Its branches, springing from voluted scrolls, relate for instance to Gibbs' chandelier design of the mid-1720s executed for St. Martin-in-the-Fields.

The Longleat chandelier is however, particularly close to that which from 1735 lit the triumphal staircase approach to Gibbs' Great Hall or Assembly Room at St. Bartholomew's Hospital. Also executed under Gibbs' direction, it is of very similar character and displays busts of Arcadian deities and ancient worthies (T. Friedman, op. cit., fig. 242). Another chandelier, embellished with voluted truss-herms tied by a jewelled ribbon, now hangs at the Treasurer's House, York (illustrated in R. Edwards and P. Macquoid, The Dictionary of English Furniture, London, rev. ed., 1954, vol. I, p. 333, fig. 17).

The Longleat chandelier is most likely to have been supplied by Benjamin Goodison (d. 1767) of the 'Golden Spread Eagle', Long Acre. Succeeding James Moore (d. 1727) as Court Cabinet-maker, he enjoyed extensive Royal patronage and invoiced King George II in 1729 for a brass hall-lantern with giltwood crown, which he supplied for the Queen's Staircase at Hampton Court Palace. It was likewise embellished with acanthus-enriched trusses surmounted by helmetted busts (illustrated in R. Edwards and P. Macquoid, op. cit., vol. II, p. 282, fig. 4). A related mirror was supplied by Goodison in 1732-3 to Frederick, Prince of Wales, surmounted by his feathers and now at Hampton Court Palace.

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