Coming up on Wednesday 9 September we are delighted to present The Fine Sale to include Furniture, Sculpture, Carpets, Ceramics, Works of Art and Garden Ornament. The auction features a wonderful array of distinctive pieces either by, or very closely related to, designs by some of the most significant English furniture makers of the 18th and 19th centuries. Ahead of the auction, Ben Brown, Head of Dreweatts' Furniture department, picks out some of the highlights.
One of the most distinctive pieces is Lot 161, a George III padouk Pembroke table, circa 1760, which is attributed to Thomas Chippendale. This style is also referred to as a 'Breakfaste' or Supper table. It showcases a twin hinged rectangular top with a moulded edge above a frieze drawer mounted with 'axe heads' handles. The recesses gilt wire-work panel inset compartment found beneath is fronted by a hinged and folding door.
With an interesting provenance, this Pembroke table was once held at Stobhall Castle having been supplied to the Earl of Perth by Ronald A. Lee for £450 on 29 June 1965. Ronald A. Lee sold an astonishingly wide range of objects, to important collectors and museums all over the world. A key driver for him appears to have been the historical significance and beauty of objects.
This table relates directly to a design for a 'Breakfaste Table' in Thomas Chippendales 1st Edition of the Gentleman and Cabinet Makers Director, (1754), and included again in the 3rd Edition of 1762. The distinctive 'axe- head' handles of the current table are characteristic of Chippendale's output during the 1750's and 60's.
Another exquisite piece is Lot 155, a George III mahogany serpentine serving table, circa 1760, attributed William Vile.
William Vile (1700-1767) was one of the foremost English cabinet makers of the mid-Georgian period. From 1761 to 1764 in partnership with fellow cabinet maker John Cobb they became cabinet makers and upholsterers to His Majesty, George III. Their standard of craftmanship was rivalled only by that of Thomas Chippendale.
The design features a figured top with triple slender banding border by broader crossbanding, the frieze with beaded borders and above a carved 'pagoda' edge, each tapering cabriole leg surmounted by a naturalistically carved palmette leaf also issuing trailing bellflowers, on scroll and acanthus leaf carved feet.
Many parallels between known works by Vile and this table can be drawn, and overall the quality of carving and elegance of form show this table to be the work of a craftsman of exceptional prominence. The dating and stylistic qualities strongly suggest this to be William Vile.
Sure to enhance any study or office is Lot 115, a George III mahogany desk or 'writing table', circa 1790, attributed to Gillows.
This fabulous desk has a rectangular top lifting on a double ratchet mechanism and with hinged rear edge doubling as a candle stand. The long drawer opens to a leather inset slide above twelve lidded compartments each marked alphabetically. The kneehole cupboard door is flanked on each side by a bank of three drawers.
For two closely comparable examples, to include one stamped GILLOWS LANCASTER which is virtually identical (with the exception of the handles and some other minor features), see Susan E. Stuart, Gillows of Lancaster & London, 1730 - 1840, Antique Collectors Club, 2008, page 337 and 377. The example on page 377 (Plate GG28) also stamped GILLOWS LANCASTER, although of pedestal type (lacking central cupboards) demonstrates a virtually identical treatment of the alphabetical letters to the interior lidded divisions and also has the similar feature of the hinged candlestand section at the top of the writing surface. Gillows illustrated this and described it as 'a little rising flap on top' and is an unusual feature.
Wednesday 9 September | 10.30am
Donnington Priory, Newbury, Berkshire RG14 2JE
This is an online auction with auctioneer.
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