A suite of mahogany hall benches at Castlecoole, Co. Fermanagh are of almost identical profile to the present benches, but have fluted seat rails, anthemion-carved brackets to the crest rails, different turning to the arms and carved swags on the back panel. Illustrated by Jourdain and Rose , (op.cit, p.64, pl.17), and O'Reilly (op. cit., p. 95), the backs have the painted crest of the Corry family, Earls of Belmore. They were designed by James Wyatt, architect of Castlecoole, in the Grecian taste to furnish ‘The hall, empty and stately’ as he expressly wanted it, and ‘sparsely furnished’. Although Castlecoole was completed in 1798, the 1st Earl, who died in 1802, ran out of money before the interior was completed, the furnishing and decoration being carried out by his son, the 2nd Earl. This commission was entrusted to the prominent Dublin upholsterer, John Preston, whose account carefully details the work carried out between 1807 and 1825, the hall chairs being supplied by the Dublin cabinet-maker Kidd.
Gaybrook House was built by Ralph Smyth in 1790, replacing a gabled 17th century house. It was extended in the early 19th century and it seems likely that these benches might have been commissioned at this time. Although there is no documentary evidence to support this, it seems likely that the offered benches could also be by Kidd of Dublin on stylistic grounds.
Besides the present benches, a number of others are recorded, all differing in some detail from Wyatt’s original design and bearing the crests of prominent Irish families.
Margaret Jourdain & F. Rose, English Furniture The Georgian Period (1730-1830), p. 64, fig. 17, a mahogany hall seat, the property of the Earl of Belmore
Christopher Claxton Stevens and Stewart Whittington, 18th Century English Furniture – The Norman Adams Collection, 1985, p. 91, a similar pair with the crest of the Bowes-Daly Family
The GPA Irish Arts Review Yearbook 1989-1990, 1989, ‘Castle Coole, Co, Fermanagh’, George Mott, pp. 83-90
Jacqueline O’Brien and Desmond Guinness, Great Irish Houses and Castles, 1992, pp. 66-69, ‘Bellamont Forest’, and pp. 130-133, ‘Castle Coole’
Country Life, December 17, 1992, ‘Castle Coole, Co. Fermanagh’, John Cornforth, pp. 28-31, fig. 1
Christie’s London, Sale Catalogue, November 19, 1992, the Bowes-Daly pair
Country Life, January 20, 1993, ‘Around the Salerooms’, Huon Mallalieu, fig. 4, the Bowes-Daly pair
Seán O’Reilly, Irish Houses and Gardens from the archives of Country Life, 1998, Castlecoole, Co. Fermanagh, pp. 92-99, the entrance hall, p. 95.
Sotheby`s New York, Property from the Collections of Lily & Edmond J. Safra, 3-4 November 2005, lot 176, a pair of hall benches with a provenace of the Coote Family, created Earls of Bellamont in 1767, Bellamont Forest, Co. Cavan, Ireland. Previously sold Christie`s London, the Property of a Gentleman, 19 November, 1993, lot 28.
Please call 1-800-555-5555 to order a print catalog for this sale.
Online Registration to Bid is Closed for this Sale. Would you like to watch the live sale?Watch Live Sale