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A GEORGE III SOLID MAHOGANY GATE-LEG CARD TABLE
A GEORGE III SOLID MAHOGANY GATE-LEG CARD TABLE
A GEORGE III SOLID MAHOGANY GATE-LEG CARD TABLE
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THE DINGLEY HALL CARD TABLE PROPERTY OF THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART
A GEORGE III SOLID MAHOGANY GATE-LEG CARD TABLE

ATTRIBUTED TO THOMAS CHIPPENDALE, CIRCA 1775

Details
A GEORGE III SOLID MAHOGANY GATE-LEG CARD TABLE
ATTRIBUTED TO THOMAS CHIPPENDALE, CIRCA 1775
The serpentine foldover top with carved edge enclosing a baize interior over a frieze with deep central panel displaying the Hungerford crest within swags of wheat and laurel, the frame carved with further husk chains on cabriole legs headed by foliate fans and pendant husks and with foliate scroll feet, with further fifth folding leg, the ends with batten carrying holes, with Untermyer circular inventory label numbered 470
28 ½ in. (72.5 cm.) high, 36 ¾ in. (93.5 cm.) wide, 18 ¼ in. (46.5 cm.) deep
Provenance
The table formed part of a larger suite comprising twelve armchairs, two settees and a pair of card tables that was almost certainly supplied to John Peach Hungerford Esq. (d. 1809) for Dingley Hall, Northamptonshire and by descent in the Hungerford family
Purchased with the house by Hugh Richard Dawnay, 8th Viscount Downe (d. 1924) in 1883
Transferred to the Downe family seat at Wykeham Abbey, Yorkshire
The Richard A. Canfield and Marsden J. Perry Collection, Providence, Rhode Island
Richard A. Canfield and Marsden J. Perry; sold American Art Association, Anderson Galleries, New York, 3-4 April 1936, lot 113
Judge Irwin Untermyer, New York, bequeathed to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1964
Literature
Y. Hackenbroch, English Furniture with some furniture from other countries in the Irwin Untermyer Collection, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1958, pl. 220, fig. 259

Condition report

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Lot Essay

THE DINGLEY HALL PROVENANCE

This magnificent table formed part of a suite that was supplied for Dingley Hall, Northamptonshire, and proudly displays the Hungerford family crest. The suite appears to have comprised at least twelve armchairs, two settees, and a pair of card tables.

The suite has been dispersed as follows:

- The present table was first noted in the Richard A. Canfield and Marsden J. Perry Collection, Providence Rhode Island; Anderson Galleries, New York, 4 April 1936, lot 113

- The companion card table was sold anonymously; Christie's, London, 28 November 2002, lot 104 (£182,650). Previously sold, The Property of a Lady; Christie's, London, 29 November 1984, lot 64 (illustrated in G. Beard and J. Goodison, English Furniture 1500-1840, Oxford, 1987, p. 125, fig. 6)

Of the seating furniture:

- A settee and eleven armchairs from the 'from the country mansion of a Nobleman recently deceased' [Viscount Downe] was advertised by London dealers Gill & Reigate in The Connoisseur, May 1924. A 'set of armchairs and a sofa' are noted in an article by M. Jourdain, 'Furniture at Wykeham Abbey - I', Apollo, vol. 46, October 1947, p. 79, figs. I and II (illustrating one armchair)

- A settee was illustrated in L. Vincent Lockwood, Colonial Furniture in America, New York, 3rd edn., 1926, vol. II, fig. 659. This settee was also in the Richard A. Canfield and Marsden J. Perry Collection, Providence Rhode Island; Anderson Galleries, New York, 4 April 1936, lot 108. Almost certainly bought by Ginsburg & Levy, New York. Bought from Ginsburg & Levy by French & Company, New York in 1938

- A pair of armchairs was exhibited in London, The Luton Museum, In the Days of Queen Charlotte, 11 May-11 June 1939, pl. VIII (with H. M. Lee & Son). The same pair of armchairs was exhibited in London, The Victoria and Albert Museum, The British Antique Dealers' Association Golden Jubilee Exhibition, May 1968, no. 159, pl. 121 (anonymous loan)

- A pair of armchairs sold anonymously, Christie's, New York, 20 April 1985, lot 160 ($82,500), now in a distinguished private collection (G. Beard and J. Goodison, op. cit., p. 170, fig. 1)

-Two pairs of armchairs from the Estate of Brooks McCormick, Chicago; sold Christie’s, New York, 21-22 October 2010, lots 400 ($194,500) and 401 ($230,500)

- The remaining six chairs and a sofa are in a private English collection

Dingley Hall is a medieval home largely rebuilt in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries by Edward Griffin and his descendants. It was sold to a Mr. Peach when the 3rd Baron Griffin died in 1742. Mr. Peach married the widow Mrs. Hungerford, and it was her son and his descendants who came into possession of Dingley.

John Peach Hungerford (d. 1809) was elected M.P. for Leicestershire in 1775, the time when the suite would have been commissioned. The table features a projecting tablet bearing the Hungerford crest of a wheat-sheaf between two scythes emanating from a ducal coronet. The ducal coronet was said to have been conferred upon Sir Walter Hungerford for saving the life of the Black Prince at the Battle of Agincourt in 1415. The table frame is elegantly scrolled in the Louis XV manner. Regrettably, there are no Hungerford or Dingley inventories or receipts relating to furniture in the Lincolnshire Archives.

Dingley Hall and its contents were purchased by Hugh Richard Dawnay, 8th Viscount Downe, in 1883. The suite was transferred to Wykeham Abbey, Yorkshire which became the Downe family seat in 1909. The seat furniture is illustrated at Wykeham in the 1947 Apollo article.

THE ATTRIBUTION TO THOMAS CHIPPENDALE

The accompanying Dingley Hall chairs were noted by Christopher Gilbert in his introduction to the catalogue of the 1979 Chippendale exhibition held at the Leeds Art Galleries at Temple Newsam House as: "the most illustrious newly-discovered chairs corresponding to one of the [Chippendale] firm's standard design types of c.1770-1775." Designed in the French 'antique' fashion, a similar laurel wreath crest appears on his seating furniture supplied in circa 1773 for the Tapestry Room at Newby Hall (C. Gilbert, The Life and Work of Thomas Chippendale, London, 1978, vol. II, p. 107, fig. 180). The pendant festooned plaque features on a set of eight chairs supplied in circa 1771 for the library of Harewood House (op.cit., p. 114, fig. 197).

The Hungerford suite is likely to have been designed by Thomas Chippendale Junior (d. 1822), who traded alongside his father at the sign of the 'French chair' at St. Martin's Lane. His pattern-book Sketches of Ornament was issued in 1779, the year that he succeeded to his father's business. Chippendale Junior is also likely to have designed the Newby Hall chairs, as well as other related chairs of the Dingley Hall type including a set at Brocket Hall. The form of the Hungerford chairs was also described as 'Modern' in a pattern published in Thomas Malton's Complete Treatise on Perspective, 1775 (pl. XXXIII, fig. 131).

A side table with central tablet carved with a wheat sheaf and attributed to Thomas Chippendale, which may have formed part of the Hungerford suite, was sold anonymously, Christie's, New York, 23 October 2002, lot 175.

A pair of chairs was included in The Luton Museum exhibition in London entitled In the Days of Queen Charlotte 11 May - 11 June 1939, pl. VIII (with dealer H. M. Lee & Son).

JUDGE IRWIN UNTERMYER (1886-1973)

The spectacular collection of British decorative arts at the Metropolitan Museum of Art is in large part due to the generosity of a single benefactor, Judge Irwin Untermyer. A significant number of the outstanding objects currently on view in the Annie Laurie Aitken Galleries bear his name. By the time of his death in 1973, Judge Untermyer had left the Museum over two thousand works of art from an impressive collection that was refined and augmented over the course of his life.

As a collector, Untermyer had broad interests. By his own account, he started buying artwork at the time of his marriage in 1912, when his parents presented him “with a few nice things” for his home so that he “began to think of adding to them.” But the finest part of his collection consisted of English furniture, silver, needlepoint and porcelain.

For some twenty years Judge Untermyer served on the Museum's Board of Trustees, and highlights of his collection were exhibited there in 1977. In his forward to Yvonne Hackenbroch's magnificent catalogue English Furniture . . . in the Irwin Untermyer Collection of 1958, he wrote: “there has never been any time during the past forty five years when I have not been interested in the acquisition of English furniture.” As seen clearly in photographs of his Fifth Avenue apartment, his passion was for oak, walnut and mahogany furniture leading up to the reign of George III.

With the planned renovation of the Aitken Galleries in mind The Metropolitan Museum of Art is carefully reviewing its holdings of English decorative arts. As a result, it has decided to sell pieces in categories that are particularly strongly represented, such as carved mahogany furniture. The sale of these objects will make possible the acquisition of pieces less well-represented in the collection, such as examples dating to the nineteenth century. In this way when the Galleries reopen in 2018 they will better demonstrate the stylistic development of British furniture from the 16th century up to around 1900.

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