On 19 September, we have our Interiors auction. The sale offers over 300 lots including rugs & carpets, furniture, clocks, works of art, ceramics & glass, and lighting. Here, Head of Sale, Ashley Matthews picks out some of his favourite pieces.
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A novelty chest of drawers
For the music maestro, we have Lot 278, this rather fun burr maple and ebonised chest of drawers in the form of a cello or double base. This was probably made in the latter part of the 20th century. It features a long neck and simulated tuning pegs above the arrangement of five drawers to the body, it stands 154cm high estimated at £300-500 (+fees)
Lot 278: A burr maple and ebonised chest of drawers in the form of a cello or double bass, late 20th century | Est. £300-500 (+ fees)
Console tables in Chinoiserie taste
A particular highlight from this one day sale is Lot 82 – a pair of red painted and parcel gilt console tables. Although of recent manufacture, these are designed in Chinoiserie taste, featuring a stone top above a blind fretwork frieze interspersed with lozenges and masks, and are set on pagoda legs, each are an impressive 170cm wide.
Luxury goods had been flowing into Europe since the early 16th century, these included porcelain, silk, and lacquerware. These imports influenced the designers in the mid 18th century to take inspiration from and adapt the oriental motifs they saw. They didn’t distinguish between what was actually Chinese, Japanese or Indian but mixed them together to create a pastiche of the Oriental world. This Exoticism was a rejection of more Neo-classical ideals.
These tables wouldn’t look out of place in Brighton Pavilion, the Prince Regent’s pleasure palace on the South Coast. Here the Prince worked with the architect John Nash to give the pavilion it’s current appearance complete with domes and minarets. Here the interiors were filled with a mixture of Chinese, Indian, and Islamic elements.
The tables are estimated at £2,000-3,000 (+fees)
Lot 82: A pair of red painted and parcel gilt console tables in Chinoiserie taste, of recent manufacture | Est. £2,000-3,000 (+ fees)
Aesthetic Movement mantel clock
The sale also features clocks and timepieces. Lot 251 is an Aesthetic Movement mantel clock, attributed to Lewis Forman Day. The Aesthetic Movement was an art movement at the end of the 19th century. The ebonised case is carved with stylised floral motifs to the angles around the dial, and inset with two panels; one ‘Night Shade’, the other 'Day’s-Eye'. The circular dial features Arabic numerals interspersed with further daisies.
Lewis Forman Day (1845-1910) was one of the leading lights of the Arts & Crafts and Aesthetic Movements. Originally trained as a stained-glass maker, Foreman Day became one of the most commercially successful designers of the age. After founding his own business in 1870, he went on to produce a range of domestic designs, including textiles and wallpapers. He was also a founder member of the Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society (established in 1887).
Lot 251: An Aesthetic Movement ebonised and porcelain inset mantel clock, circa 1890, attributed to Lewis Forman-Day | Est. £250-350 (+ fees)
This sale includes a set of four oak half columns. These versatile objects are ideal for an architectural remodelling of a country house or other historic building. Each of tapering form and with a pair of circular bases, they could be used as four pilasters and mounted to the wall or as free standing columns to support a further architectural element. As columns on bases, they stand at an impressive 268cm high overall.
Lot 152: A set of four oak half columns, late 19th century | Est. £700-1,000 (+ fees)
A 'Pezzato' glass bowl by Fulvio Bianconi for Venini
The sale also includes items of a Modern Design flavour including Murano glassware, produced on the famous bridge-linked archipelago in the Venetian Lagoon.
The stand out item is a ‘Pezzato’ glass bowl in the Parigi colourway designed by Fulvio Bianconi for Venini (Lot 263). The irregular bowl features tesserae in blue, red, green and amber, it has a circular acid stamp 'Venini Murano Italia', and foil label to the underside, it is 8cm high, 18.5cm long
Fulvio Bianconi (1915-1996) began his career and learnt the art of decorating glass at the workshops of Murano under Michael Pinto. Before his innovations, glass had been used for utilitarian purposes.
The Pezzato range was one of the most successful designs that Fulvio Bianconi created for Venini. Bianconi used a glass mosaic in various ways producing brilliant chromatic effects.. The glass tesserae are first made from coloured glass canes flattened and cut to various sizes before being arranged into a mosaic. The mosaic is then heated on a fire stone to weld the different colours together. They are then picked up on a blank to form the walls of the final piece. The glass is then blown and hot worked into the desired form such as the bowl in the present lot.
The bowl is estimated at £1,200-1,800 (+fees).
Lot 263: Fulvio Bianconi (Italian 1915-1996) for Venini, Murano, a 'Pezzato' glass bowl in the Parigi colourway | Est. £1,200-1,800 (+ fees)
A Victorian Wellington chest
A traditional interiors furniture item is Lot 186, a Victorian mahogany Wellington chest, dating from around 1870. It is an example of one of my favourite items of furniture. The arrangement of seven graduated drawers are secured by a hinged locking arm. It stands at 109cm high.
It is said that these chests were based on an example that Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, insisted on having on campaign, the single locking arm being a more convenient option than having to lock the arrangement of drawers individually, especially if in a hurry!
The feature of seven drawers is further said to be an organisational feature, seven drawers meaning one for each day of the week
This chest comes with provenance, as it is from the estate of Lionel Alfred Martin, Ingram Avenue, London (1855-1933). Chairman of Tate & Lyle. It is an affordable option at £300-500 (+fees).
Lot 186: A Victorian mahogany Wellington chest, circa 1870 | Est. £300-500 (+ fees)
Tuesday 19 September | 10.30am BST
Donnington Priory, Newbury, Berkshire RG14 2JE
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Viewing in Newbury:
- Sunday 17 September: 10am-3pm
- Monday 18 September: 10am-4pm
- Tuesday 19 September: 8.30am-4pm