The window seats compare with a number of related examples by or attributed to George Bullock (d.1818). Foremost among these is the pair supplied in 1817 as part of a fully documented commission to Matthew Robinson Boulton for Tew Park, Oxfordshire, executed in oak and holly at a cost of £23.2s., and sold Christie's Tew Park sale 27 June 1987 lot 31. Another with ormolu and ebonised decoration was part of the suite of furniture owned by Don Pedro de Souza e Holstein, 1st Duke of Palmella (d.1850), Ambassador to England from 1812 - 15 and on three subsequent occasions. The suite is attributed to Bullock and the window seat, like the present lot, features a solid seat and the same pattern of halved roundels with ball pendants. The window seat was sold Christie's, London, 25 June 1987, lot 172. A third pair of window seats of small size but corresponding almost excatly to the present lot was sold anonymously Christie's, London, 19 November 1987, lot 19.
All featured the distinctive ring-turned and fluted arms supported by uprights carved as tulip-like flowers.
GEORGE BULLOCK AND HIS COLLABORATORS
George Bullock was considered by his contemporaries and patrons as one of the most outstanding and progressive makers of his age, though his career was cut short by his sudden death in 1818. Working from premises at Tenterden Street, London, in addition to the extensive commission at Tew Park, Bullock was requested by the future George IV in 1816 to supply suitable furniture for the Emperor Napoleon's residence in exile on the island of St. Helena, while he was also employed at Sir Walter Scott's Abbotsford, Roxburghshire, and at the Duke of Atholl's Blair Castle, Perthshire.
Among Bullock's collaborators were the architects Richard Bridgens (d.1846) and Richard Brown (fl.1804-42) who not only provided Bullock with designs during his lifetime, but also did much to publicise his 'antique' taste after his death. Bridgens is credited with the design of the firm's oak parlour chairs supplied in 1818 for Abbotsford and published his Designs for Furniture with Candelabra and Interior Decoration (1824); while Brown published his Cabinet and Upholstery Furniture, 1820 (2nd ed. 1822; 3rd ed. 1835), which featured Bullock's designs for window seats such as the present lot (see Clive Wainwright et al, 'George Bullock and his circle', George Bullock, Cabinet Maker, Exhibition catalogue, 1988, pp. 13 - 39). Bullock's work was here linked with publications such as 'Mr. Hope's mythological work; Mr. [George] Smith's excellent Book of Unique Designs , and [Charles] Percier's splendid French work on Interior Decoration [1801; 2nd ed. 1812]'.