C. Musgrave, Royal Pavilion, 1948, p. 33, no. 129
C. Musgrave, 'The Brighton Pavilion and its Civic Centenary', Connoisseur Year Book, 1951, p. 72
The Franco-Italian character of this brass-inlaid lady's dressing-room cabinet, known as a bonheur-du-jour, reflects the tastes of George, Prince of Wales, later George IV (d.1830) and his architectural advisers Henry Holland and C.H. Tatham. This style was popularised by Thomas Sheraton's Cabinet-Maker and Upholsterer's Drawing Books, 1793 and 1802, while the 'Egyptian' star motif on the doors was much favoured by the Prince's upholder George Smith in his Designs for Household Furniture, 1808.
The cabinet belonged to the Prince's daughter, Princess Charlotte (d.1817), who, following her marriage to Prince Leopold of Saxe-Saalfeld, lived at Claremont House, near Esher, which had been built by Holland in collaboration with Lancelot Brown in the 1770s for Lord Clive of India. It is most likely to have been supplied by the Mount Street firm of Tatham, Bailey & Saunders, which supplied rosewood furniture with gilt enrichments to the Prince of Wales in 1814 and was one of the most important cabinet-making firms of the period.
The Princess owned a number of pieces of brass-inlaid furniture, some of which were included in Messrs. Puttick & Simpson's sale of the contents of Claremont, 25-28 October, 1926. Other similar Regency pieces were sold at Christie's London, 16 July 1981, lot 158, 159, 171, 172, 174, and 177; they had passed by descent to H.R.H. Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone from her parents the Duke and Duchess of Albany who had lived at Claremont from 1882 to 1922.
On loan (circa 1948) Brighton Pavilion