A PAIR OF GEORGE III GILT-METAL MOUNTED EAST INDIAN SATINWOOD, INDIAN ROSEWOOD, SYCAMORE, HAREWOOD, MARQUETRY AND PAINTED DEMI-LUNE COMMODES
A PAIR OF GEORGE III GILT-METAL MOUNTED EAST INDIAN SATINWOOD, INDIAN ROSEWOOD, SYCAMORE, HAREWOOD, MARQUETRY AND PAINTED DEMI-LUNE COMMODES
A PAIR OF GEORGE III GILT-METAL MOUNTED EAST INDIAN SATINWOOD, INDIAN ROSEWOOD, SYCAMORE, HAREWOOD, MARQUETRY AND PAINTED DEMI-LUNE COMMODES
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A PAIR OF GEORGE III GILT-METAL MOUNTED EAST INDIAN SATINWOOD, INDIAN ROSEWOOD, SYCAMORE, HAREWOOD, MARQUETRY AND PAINTED DEMI-LUNE COMMODES
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Prospective purchasers are advised that several co… Read more
A PAIR OF GEORGE III GILT-METAL MOUNTED EAST INDIAN SATINWOOD, INDIAN ROSEWOOD, SYCAMORE, HAREWOOD, MARQUETRY AND PAINTED DEMI-LUNE COMMODES

ATTRIBUTED TO WILLIAM INCE AND JOHN MAYHEW, CIRCA 1775-80

Details
A PAIR OF GEORGE III GILT-METAL MOUNTED EAST INDIAN SATINWOOD, INDIAN ROSEWOOD, SYCAMORE, HAREWOOD, MARQUETRY AND PAINTED DEMI-LUNE COMMODES
ATTRIBUTED TO WILLIAM INCE AND JOHN MAYHEW, CIRCA 1775-80
Each crossbanded top with a trailing foliate border centred by an oval batwing medallion surrounded by husk swags and flanked by scrolling acanthus, the frieze with ribbon-tied beaded swags hung with husks and alternating flowerheads, the main panel centred by a roundel painted with cherubs to one and cherubs and a maiden to the other, hung with floral garlands, surmounted by a palmette and foliate scrolls and flanked by anthemion, the corners inlaid with anthemion, the side doors inlaid with neoclassical urns draped with asymmetric husk swags, on leaf-carved turned baluster feet with beaded collars, the lower sections of the feet replaced below the leaf carving, inscribed in chalk 'NASSAU' and 'ME120', and in pencil '2152'
34 1/2 in. (87.5 cm.) high; 42 1/2 in. (108 cm.) wide; 19 3/8 in. (49 cm.) deep
Provenance
The Collection of A.C. Worswick and his wife, Mrs D.E. Paul; sold Sotheby's, London, 6 December 1968, lot 125.
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. Following the auction, this lot will be stored at Crozier Park Royal and will be available for collection from 12.00pm on the second 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 I Email: cscollectionsuk@christies.com.

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Amelia Walker
Amelia Walker Director, Specialist Head of Private & Iconic Collections

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Lot Essay

This outstanding pair of marquetry commodes are attributed to the celebrated late 18th-century English cabinet-makers William Ince and John Mayhew, and represent a highpoint of English cabinet-making. These commodes bear many hallmarks of the firm’s documented marquetry style and technique and form part of a well-known group of furniture based on the commode made for Derby House in 1775. The drawing of the Derby House commode, which survives in the collection of Sir John Soane’s Museum, displays key attributes that have been repeated on the Weinstock commodes and on documented pieces made by the partnership – a refined vocabulary of delicate neoclassical ornamentation, the use of vase motifs, palmettes, anthemia, fanlights and painted roundels – that evolved and reappeared in the decade following the creation of the Derby House commode.
Robert Adam claimed to have been responsible for introducing Etruscan decoration in 1774–5 at Derby House – and with the commode made for the house being the first documented example of the partners’ work in this style, the date of its creation is therefore most likely to be the second half of the 1770s.
The Weinstock commodes may be seen as key to the attribution of a significant group of otherwise undocumented marquetry commodes, all sharing a number of similar structural and design features: specifically the doors opening at either side as well as a similar arrangement and style of marquetry, as explored by Hugh Roberts (‘The Derby House Commode’, Burlington Magazine, May 1985, p. 282 and figs 19–21; L. Wood, Catalogue of Commodes, London, 1994, pp. 210–16).
Examples of similar commodes by Ince and Mayhew include most strikingly one almost certainly supplied to the 3rd Duke of Dorset (1745–99; see the footnote to lot 9 in this catalogue for details of the commission and an image of the commode) in 1780 which incorporates a painted oval of Apollo with his lyre in the manner of Zucchi to the centre, with similar use of marquetry swags to the frieze, vases to the side doors and a fan light or batwing motif to the top. The painted decoration was often an indication of room placement – in the case of the Dorset commode, the choice of Apollo and his lyre would suggest a music room – and was intended to match or harmonise with the room’s ceiling decoration. The front and sides of the Dorset commode display a range of neoclassical ornament including winged griffins flanking the painted central medallion, honeysuckle and flower swags, urns and tripods.
In addition, further commodes in this group include: one probably made for the Earl of Chesterfield, c. 1780, now in the Lady Lever Art Gallery (ibid., p. 244); a commode commissioned for Josiah Dupre; a commode made for Isaac Elton, c. 1775–80 (Lady Lever Art Gallery); a commode formerly at Swallowfield Park, c. 1775–80 (Private Collection); a commode made for Viscount Palmerston, circa 1780; and another probably made for Robert Shafto, circa 1780–5.

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