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A GEORGE II RED, SILVER AND GILT-JAPANNED BUREAU-CABINET
A GEORGE II RED, SILVER AND GILT-JAPANNED BUREAU-CABINET
A GEORGE II RED, SILVER AND GILT-JAPANNED BUREAU-CABINET
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A GEORGE II RED, SILVER AND GILT-JAPANNED BUREAU-CABINET
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This lot will be removed to Christie’s Park Royal.… Read more
A GEORGE II RED, SILVER AND GILT-JAPANNED BUREAU-CABINET

CIRCA 1730

Details
A GEORGE II RED, SILVER AND GILT-JAPANNED BUREAU-CABINET
CIRCA 1730
The double-domed top with turned finials above a pair of mirrored doors enclosing an adjustable shelf, pigeon holes and six small drawers and with a pair of candle slides, the fall front revealing a fitted interior with further pigeon holes, open shelves and five drawers above a red leather-lined writing-surface and a well, with two short and two long drawers below, on turned feet, restorations and replacements
86 ½ in. (219 cm.) high; 43 ½ in. (110 cm.) wide; 23 in. (59 cm.) deep
Provenance
Acquired 28th February 1939 by Sir Henry Price Bt., Wakehurst Place, Sussex, and Wilbraham House, London, from Frank Partridge & Sons Ltd (£1,062 10s).
The Price Collection, sold Sotheby's, London, 22 November 2000, lot 135.


Special Notice

This lot will be removed to Christie’s Park Royal. Christie’s will inform you if the lot has been sent offsite. Our removal and storage of the lot is subject to the terms and conditions of storage which can be found at Christies.com/storage and our fees for storage are set out in the table below - these will apply whether the lot remains with Christie’s or is removed elsewhere. Please call Christie’s Client Service 24 hours in advance to book a collection time at Christie’s Park Royal. All collections from Christie’s 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 it will be available for collection on any working day 9.00 am to 5.00 pm. Lots are not available for collection at weekends.

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Peter Horwood
Peter Horwood

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Lot Essay

The fantastical 'japanned' decoration on this piece reflects the fashion for Chinese ornament following the restoration of Charles II in 1660, when trade with the Far East flourished. Inspired by imported lacquer screens and chests, Messrs. Stalker and Parker published A Treatise of Japanning and Varnishing of 1688. In order to keep up with the high demand, fine lacquered objects were imitated by local cabinet-makers and amateur painters. In their Epistle preceding their guide, Stalker and Parker wrote: 'We have laid before you an Art very much admired by us, and all those who hold any commerce with the Inhabitants of JAPAN: but that Island not being able to furnish these parts with work of this kind, the English and Frenchmen endeavoured to imitate them; that by these means the Nobillity and Gentry might be completely furnisht with whole Setts of Japan-work...'

By 1696, lacquered objects, particularly cabinets, had become 'status symbols' for Royalty and members of their inner circle both in England and beyond. For example an inventory taken at the time of Queen Mary's death includes a number of 'india japan' furnishings in the Queen's bedchamber at Kensington Palace where she displayed her large collection of Oriental porcelain. This court fashion was brought to its height in the first few decades of the eighteenth century, at which time cabinet-makers such as Giles Grendey and John Belchier were producing elaborate case and seat furniture. Grendey is renowned for the palatial suite of 'Chinese red lacquer', known as the Infantado suite, supplied circa 1735 - 40 to either Don Juan de Dios de Silva Mendoza y Sandoval, 10th Duque del Infantado (1672-1737), or his daughter, Doña Maria Teresa de Silva y Mendoza, 11th Duquesa del Infantado (1707-1770) (C. Gilbert, Pictorial Dictionary of Marked London Furniture 1700 - 1840, Leeds, 1996, p. 86, pl. 68 and pp. 245 - 248, pls. 442 - 451).

Among lacquered and japanned furniture of the period, the rich 'red-Japan' ground conjured up from 'Dragons-Blood' was particularly prized. A rare writing-table/chest also with large scale raised decoration depicted on a scarlet ground was originally in the collection of Sir Philip Sassoon, Bt. at Trent Park, Hertfordshire and sold Christie's London, Works of Art from Collections of The Cholmondeley Family and The Late Sir Philip Sassoon, Bt. from Houghton, 8 December 1994, lot 114 (£170,000 including premium). Bureau-cabinets displaying such decoration were among the most desirable and useful furnishings at the time; a red and gilt-japanned double-domed bureau-cabinet was recorded in 1726 at Erddig in the 'Blew Mohair Room', it is tentatively attributed to John Belchier whose label has been recorded in several similar pieces (A. Bowett, Early Georgian Furniture 1715 - 1740, Woodbridge, 2009, pp.60 - 61, pl. 2:16).

A red japanned bureau-cabinet was sold anonymously Christie's, New York, 20 April 2018, lot 10 ($324,500 inc' prem'), and another similar was sold by Kenneth Neame, Christie's, London, 13 June 2018, lot 20 (£289,250 inc' prem'). A chest with an unusual arrangement of drawers was sold anonymously Christie's London, 21 May 2015, lot 40 (£56,250 inc' prem').

SIR HENRY PRICE BT
The collection formed by Sir Henry Price Bt. at Wakehurst Place, near Ardingly, West Sussex and in Wilbraham House, London was remarkable for the harmonious assemblage of early furniture, works of art and Elizabethan paintings. Price's especial passion was for pieces from the late 17th and early to mid-18th centuries. In this he was guided by the expert hand of Frank Partridge, whose firm had also helped form some of the other great collections of the 20th century. Sir Henry died in 1963 and bequeathed Wakehurst Place to the National Trust whilst his wife, Lady Eve Price retained the contents. The cream of the collection including this bureau-cabinet was subsequently sold at Sotheby's, London on 22 November 2000, lot 135 (£168,500 inc' prem').







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