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THE PROPERTY OF THE LATE LORD LEIGH AND THE STONELEIGH CHATTELS SETTLEMENT
(LOTS 18 - 28)
OAKLEY AT STONELEIGH
George Oakley (d.1840) operated the Bond Street firm, Oakley & Co., 'Manufactory and Magazine for fashionable Furniture' which attracted the patronage of George IV when Prince of Wales and Prince Regent. Oakley also counted other distinguished patrons as his clients, working for Charles Madryll Cheere at Papworth Hall, Cambridgeshire, Thomas Baring at The Manor House, Lee, Kent, Lady Cotton, Madingley Hall, Cambridge and Edward, Lord Lascalles for Harewood House, Hanover Square, London.
Oakley produced furniture for Stoneleigh between 1813-1819. Two bills addressed to J.H. Leigh Esq., dated 26 July 1813 and 3 July 1819, survive in the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Stratford-upon-Avon. These two documents give invaluable indications of Leigh's taste at this time, for instance the rosewood furniture, a wood Oakley specially favoured, was highly fashionable in this period. On the 1819 invoice, lot 26 is described as 'An elegant Rosewood Commode with Chiffonier top and plate glass at the back'. The other items by Oakley in this sale (lots 24-28) which have come from Stoneleigh do not feature in either of the existing bills, so presumably they relate to another body of work Oakley carried out to James Henry Leigh specification's for Stoneleigh. With no confirmatory documentation, it is likely that Oakley was commissioned by the Leighs to provide furniture for Stoneleigh between 1813-1819.