These impressive chandeliers were at Old Warden Park, Bedfordshire from at least circa 1913 where they are recorded in the ‘Inventory of Furniture, pictures and Silver at Old Warden Park, Bedfordshire Settled Under the Will of the Late Colonel Frank Shuttleworth’ in the Morning Room as, ‘A pair of cut-glass chandeliers, with numerous festoons and drops, and branches fitted for electric light’. At the same date they were photographed in the opulent Jacobean-style room.
They are likely to have been installed when the house was first built to designs by the prominent Victorian architect , Henry Clutton, in 1872, and were apparently from a set of four (another pair was photographed in the Saloon in the 1950s). Joseph Shuttleworth (1819-1883), iron founder and industrialist of Lincoln, possibly commissioned them from the prestigious firm of glass lighting manufacturers, Perry & Co, who in the late 18th century as Parker & Perry, fulfilled many notable commissions including at Carlton House and the Royal Pavilion, Brighton for the Prince Regent. Perry's catalogue of circa 1900 illustrates a similar chandelier, the design of which is based on a drawing by the firm's draughtsman Mr. Bartlett (Victoria and Albert Museum, E2094 - 1952, Folio 6.95.C.85 Bartlett). A related 24-light Perry & Co. chandeliers was in the collection of William Lever, 1st Viscount Leverhulme, at The Hill, Hampstead (Sold Sotheby's, Thornton Manor, Cheshire, 26 June 2001, £44,200 including premium).
THE SHUTTLEWORTHS OF OLD WARDEN PARK
In 1875-78 Joseph Shuttleworth (d.1883), founder of the engineers Clayton & Shuttleworth, commissioned the renowned architect, Henry Clutton (d. 1893) to design a substantial ‘Elizabethan’ mansion modelled on 16th century Gawthorpe Hall, the seat of the eminent and ancient but unconnected Lancashire Shuttleworths. Joseph Shuttleworth seemingly aimed to play upon the heritage of his namesakes and wished to create a similarly distinguished family seat. The image of a gloved hand holding a shuttle was adopted as the family crest; the same device that appeared in the coat of arms of the Tudor Shuttleworths of Gawthorpe.
The prolific acquisition of furniture and paintings by both Joseph, and later Frank Shuttleworth was part of this process to invoke a history and ancestry for their own family, and they patronised the leading dealers of the period including Mallett & Son, established from 1865 at the Octagon Chapel, Bath, and from 1908 in New Bond Street, and Agnews . Many of the interior furnishings of Old Warden were supplied by Gillows of Lancaster and London, designed to complement the oak panelling, while the carved swags of fruit in the Dining Room were acquired from Strong of Riding House Street, London. A pair of marquetry demi-lune commodes, copies of Irish Georgian commodes, was also in Shuttleworth collection, until sold anonymously Christie's, London, 5 October 1972, lot 156, and again 21 May 2015, lot 100 (£74,500 including premium).