Sök efter mer än 80 miljoner sålda föremål i vår prisbank

A PAIR OF GEORGE I GILT-GESSO OPEN ARMCHAIRS attributed to James Moore, each with scrolled and channelled C-scroll cresting centred by triumphant plumed feathers flanked by foliate and
Såld

Om föremålet

A PAIR OF GEORGE I GILT-GESSO OPEN ARMCHAIRS attributed to James Moore, each with scrolled and channelled C-scroll cresting centred by triumphant plumed feathers flanked by foliate and husk trails on a pounced and sanded ground, the cartouche-shaped rectangular padded back and seat upholstered à chassis in the original crimson close-cut silk-velvet floral damask with gold and silver thread border, the scrolled arms carved with further intertwined husk trails, lambrequin headed espagnolette-masks and seraphim, the imbricated curved panelled baluster supports etched with a scallop-shell and bell-husks on an egg-and-dart plinth, the seat-rail carved with an egg-and-dart border and centred by a husk trailed confronting-C cypher, on foliate espagnolette-mask headed pounced cabriole legs with husk trails and scrolled foliate spreading feet\n29½in. (75cm.) wide; 47¾in. (121.5cm.) high; 29½in. (75cm.) deep (2)
GB
GB
GB

notes

'TIMON'S VILLA' AT CANNONS

Two from a suite of four armchairs and eight side chairs, these magnificent chairs were almost certainly commissioned by James Brydges, Viscount Wilton and Earl of Carnarvon, later 1st Duke of Chandos (1673/4-1744) for the Best Chamber at Cannons, Middlesex. Designed in the George I 'antique' or 'Roman' manner and upholstered in their original crimson-flowered Genoese velvet of Roman - acanthus on a gold ground, this suite was conceived as a celebration of his elevation to the Earldom of Carnarvon in 1714, following King George I's accession to the throne that year. Thus, the chair is centred by a conjoined and confronted 'C' cypher, a motif further employed at Cannons on the staircase balustrade by Jean Montigny (now in the Metropolitan Museum, New York)

Lauded by Charles Gildon (d.1724) in his poem 'Cannons; or the vision' and satirically hounded in Alexander Pope's 'Timon's villa':-

Another age shall see the golden ear

Imbrown the slope, and rod on the parterre

Deep harvest bury all his pride has planned

And laughing Ceres reassure the land

Cannons was the quintessential princely palace of the Augustan era. In the inventory of the Best Chamber at Cannons, with its ceiling depicting scenes of 'Love and Marriage', drawn up by John Gilbert in 1725 (mss in the Huntington Library, San Marino), are recorded a

Rich crimson fflower'd velvett (with a gold ground) bed two pairs of window curtains border'd rich green and gold brocade trimmed with a rich green and gold fringe, four elbow chairs, eight back stools, two square do

while its adjoining Dressing Room was hung with 'Crimson flower'd velvett, with a silver ground' and contained

Ten chairs, one safoye and two square stools trimmed with silver.

Of the above, the four elbow chairs, eight back stools', together with the 'safoye', can be identified with the Houghton suite, while the 'two square stools' are now in the State Drawing Room at Grimsthorpe Castle, Lincolnshire

The contents of Cannons was sold when the house was demolished in 1747

JAMES GIBBS AND MOORE AND GUMLEY

It was to James Gibbs (d.1754) that the Paymaster-General of Marlborough's army turned for designs for his new house at Cannons and, although work had commenced there three years previously, Gibbs can be credited with the overall design of the south and east elevations, as well as the Chapel. Although not known as a furniture designer, Gibbs' hand would appear to be behind the design of this suite. In his Book of Architecture, 1728, Gibbs displays a design for an imbricated dolphin-scale baluster with husk festooned scallop-shell badges, emblematic of Venus, which is closely related to the Cannons' chairs arm-supports, while husk trailed and seraphim headed scrolled terminals can be seen in his design for an ormolu tabernacle, executed circa 1730 for Thomas, 8th Duke of Norfolk's (d.1732) chapel at Arundel Castle, Sussex (illustrated in T. Friedman, James Gibbs, Yale, 1984, p. 73, fig. 56). Gibbs was already supplying designs for the new castle at Arundel, circa 1716, and the 8th Duke was simultaneously engaged in building schemes at Worksop Manor, Nottinghamshire. It is, therefore, interesting to note that a closely related chair with scrolled, serpentine arms carved in relief with husk trails, supported on mask-headed spreading hoof feet, is retained in the Duke of Norfolk's collection at Arundel (illustrated in S. Jervis, 'Furniture at Arundel Castle', Connoisseur, March 1978, p. 213, fig. P). The characteristic hoof foot, a Gibbsian motif, is further shared with the Houghton walnut and parcel-gilt suite (see lots 126-7)

These svulptural masterpieces are almost certainly the work of James Moore (d.1726), cabinet-maker to King George I, whose partner John Gumley (d.1729), the glass-manufacturer, had employed Gibbs to design his own house at Isleworth, Middlesex. Carnavon's reputation as a Maecenas of the arts would naturally suggest the King's cabinet-maker as the author of the state furnishings at Cannons and it is, therefore, relevant to note that the Captain-General of the army, the Duke of Marlborough, with whom Carnarvon must have been closely acquainted, and his Duchess Sarah, employed Moore extensively for the furnishings at Blenheim Palace at this same time (I. Caldwell, 'Moore at Blenheim', The Antique Collector, September 1991, pp 80 - 83)

THE CANNONS SUITE AND HOUGHTON

This suite is not recorded at Houghton in either the 1745 or 1792 inventories. In the inventory of 1888, they are listed in the Marble Parlour as

4 elbow high back chairs covered in crimson, flowered velvet

holland coverings to all

4 ditto with elbows

and in The Saloon as:

4 high back gilt chairs moveable backs covered in stamped velvet

1 settee to correspond, 2 pillows and 2 bolsters, gilt legs, 3 extra silk coverings at back, extra holland cases

The fact that the settee (lot 134) was reframed during the Regency period, suggesting a new acquisition rather than an inherited heirloom, would appear to concur with a Cannons, as opposed to a Cholmondeley provenance for the suite. Following his marriage to Georgiana in 1791, George, 4th Earl and 1st Marquess of Cholmondeley (d.1827) embarked on the first, and indeed last, major refurbishment of Houghton, following the sale of the pictures to Catherine the Great in 1777, between Sir Robert Walpole's death in 1745 and Sybil, Marchioness of Cholmondeley's tenure from 1919. This included the displacement of the walnut chairs from the White Drawing Room (see lot 128) and the movement of various suites of seat furniture around the house. In this light, it is therefore extremely interesting that the pair of stools from the suite remain at the ancestral home of his bride, the daugher of the 3rd Duke of Ancaster (1714-78), Grimsthorpe Castle in Lincolnshire. These were reputedly acquired for Grimsthorpe by Peter Robert, Baron Willoughby de Eresby, following the death of his aunt, Georgiana, Marchioness of Cholmondeley in 1838

HUGH, 1st EARL OF CHOLMONDELEY

The Cannons provenance must, however, be tinged with caution. Hugh, 1st Earl of Cholmondeley (d.1724) commissioned William Smith of Warwick to build Cholmondeley Hall, Cheshire between 1707-15. Moreover, he sought the advice of Marlborough's architect at Blenheim, Sir John Vanbrugh (d.1726) and employed many of the leading craftsmen in the Office of Works, including the blacksmith Jean Tijou and the gardeners George London and Henry Wise. He was, therefore, certainly in a position to commission the king's cabinet-makers Moore and Gumley

Moreover, a pair of armchairs en suite, reputedly acquired in 1748 by Cholmley Turner, a distant relation of the Cholmondeley family, are in the Chapel of Sir William Turner's hospital at Kirkleatham, Cleveland, while the Cannons inventory of the 'Best Chamber' and adjoining 'Dressing Room' mentions only four armchairs. It is conceivable, however, that the further pair were amongst the 'ten chairs' of the 'Dressing Room', or that they were placed elsewhere, or indeed had left the house at the time of the inventory. Moreover the chandelier in the same chapel at Kirkleatham, also acquired by Cholmley Turner, is reputedly from Gibbs' chapel at Cannons (see T. Friedman, op. cit., p. 80). Finally, George, 3rd Earl of Cholmondeley's (d.1770) taste was not matched by financial prudence, and in 1746 the furniture in his London house was seized by creditors, while Cholmondeley Castle was left to decay. It would seem, therefore, surprising that such a grand suite of seat furniture survived the prying eyes of his creditors, particularly as the chandelier that now hangs in the Stone Hall at Houghton was acquired in 1748 by the 2nd Earl of Orford from his spendthrift brother-in-law's creditors

Although traditionally described as 'Genoese' silk-velvet, J.H. Plumb, in his article 'Timon's villa: a myth of Watling Street', The Times, 28 August 1968, states that the velvet 'came from Lyons'

title

A PAIR OF GEORGE I GILT-GESSO OPEN ARMCHAIRS attributed to James Moore, each with scrolled and channelled C-scroll cresting centred by triumphant plumed feathers flanked by foliate and husk trails on a pounced and sanded ground, the cartouche-shaped rectangular padded back and seat upholstered à chassis in the original crimson close-cut silk-velvet floral damask with gold and silver thread border, the scrolled arms carved with further intertwined husk trails, lambrequin headed espagnolette-masks and seraphim, the imbricated curved panelled baluster supports etched with a scallop-shell and bell-husks on an egg-and-dart plinth, the seat-rail carved with an egg-and-dart border and centred by a husk trailed confronting-C cypher, on foliate espagnolette-mask headed pounced cabriole legs with husk trails and scrolled foliate spreading feet

prelot

A PAIR OF ARMCHAIRS FROM THE CANNONS SUITE

exhibited

London, Royal Acadamy of Art, English Taste in the Eighteenth Century, from Baroque to Neo-classic, 1955-6, no. 14 (a pair)

Washington, National Gallery of Art, The Treasure Houses of Britain, 1985-86, no. 154 (one armchair)

literature

P. Macquoid, A History of English Furniture: The Age of Mahogany, London, 1906, p. 35, fig. 3

C. Latham, In English Homes, London, 1909, III, p. 362 (illustrated in situ in the Marble Parlour)

H. Avray Tipping, 'Houghton Hall - IV', Country Life, 22 January 1921, p. 98, fig. 1 (illustrated in situ in the Marble Parlour) and p. 106, fig. 12 (again in the Marble Parlour)

H. Avray Tipping, English Homes, Period V, Vol. I, Early Georgian, 1714-60, London, 1921, p. 107, fig. 134 and pp. 93-5, figs. 120-1 (illustrated in situ in the Marble Parlour)

P. Macquoid and R. Edwards, The Dictionary of English Furniture, London, 1924-7, rev. edn., 1954, p. 269, fig. 130 (one from the suite)

C. Hussey, English Country Houses: Early Georgian 1715-60, London, 1955, p. 84, fig. 116 (one illustrated in situ in the Marble Parlour)

R. Edwards, The Shorter Dictionary of English Furniture, London, 1964, p. 140, fig. 91

J. Cornforth, 'Houghton Hall, Norfolk - I', Country Life, 30 April 1987, p. 125

G. Worsley, 'Houghton', Country Life, 4 March 1993, p. 50, fig. 1 (illustrated in situ in the Marble Parlour)

provenance

Almost certainly supplied to James Brydges, 1st Duke of Chandos (d.1744) for the Best Bedchamber at Cannons, Middlesex, where the suite remained until the dispersal of the contents in 1747

Almost certainly acquired by George, 4th Earl and later 1st Marquess of Cholmondeley (d.1827) for the Marble Parlour at Houghton


*Vänligen notera att att priset inte är omräknat till dagens värde, utan avser slutpriset vid tidpunkten när föremålet såldes.

*Vänligen notera att att priset inte är omräknat till dagens värde, utan avser slutpriset vid tidpunkten när föremålet såldes.


Advert
Advert