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157

PROPERTY OF CORNELIA GUEST

A fine George III inlaid harewood and tulipwood marquetry part-ebonized bonheur du jour
circa 1770
Estimate
15,00025,000
LOT SOLD. 16,250 USD
JUMP TO LOT
157

PROPERTY OF CORNELIA GUEST

A fine George III inlaid harewood and tulipwood marquetry part-ebonized bonheur du jour
circa 1770
Estimate
15,00025,000
LOT SOLD. 16,250 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

A Celebration of the English Country House

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New York

A fine George III inlaid harewood and tulipwood marquetry part-ebonized bonheur du jour
circa 1770
the breakfronted superstructure inlaid with foliate marquetry above a niche flanked cupboard doors each inlaid with a ewer, the shaped serpentine top centered by an inlaid musical trophy within tulipwood crossbandings, the corners inlaid with acanthus leaves above a conforming frieze fitted with a morocco leather-lined writing slide and a frieze drawer centered by a paterae within a husk wreath flanked by husk swags raised on cabriole legs headed by flowerhead patera and draping husks and ending in ormolu sabots.  Lacking three sabots, losses.
height 40 in.; width 29 in.; depth 17 1/4 in.
101.6 cm; 73.7 cm; 43.8 cm
Read Condition Report Read Condition Report

Provenance

Mr. Winston F. C. Guest
thence by descent to the present owner

Catalogue Note

This fine marquetry bonheur du jour is from the same, as yet unknown, workshop. It belongs to a group of case furniture classified by Lucy Wood, The Lady Lever Art Gallery Catalogue of Commodes, London, 1994., pp. 123-139, as the 'Stanmer Group', all of which are primarily designed in the French taste and are, as in the present article, veneered in either plain sycamore or stained sycamore known as harewood.  A bonheur du jour from the Stanmer group was sold in these rooms, October 21, 2005, lot 35 ($60,000), and in the same sale, a pair of tables from Wrottersley Hall, Tettenhall, Staffordshire, lot 36 ($374,000).  The marquetry decoration of the group includes the distinctive sprays of roses and other flowers found on this bonheur du jour, the frieze decoration of sprays of leaves may also be closely compared to that on the Wrottesley tables, which has a similar serpentine profile. Another distinctive element common to a number of pieces in the Stanmer Group is the use of the distinctively grained Hungarian Ash veneer which is mainly used on the interior doors such as those of the Nostell Priory Commode (Gilbert, The Life and Work of Thomas Chippendale, London, 1978, p. 124, figs. 219-220).  A significant number of other bonheurs du jour related to the present table, and from this group are recorded, all with similar marquetry decoration, with either square straight legs or with cabriole legs of a similar form to the Wrottesley tables.  These include another of identical form but with a glazed door at the center, formerly in the possession of Messrs. Mallett (Country Life, May 25, 1991), one with a cabinet top and cabriole legs in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum (Maurice Tomlin, Catalogue of Adam Period Furniture, London, 1982, fig. U/12), and another of slightly larger size with cabriole legs (Edward Pinto, The Antique Collector, October 1971, 'The Bonheur Du Jour', pp. 205-208, fig. 1).

It is interesting to note the ebonized edges of this bonheur-du-jour.  As discussed in Gilbert and Beard, The Dictionary of English Furniture Makers, 1986, p. 593, 'moulded borders of commodes, tables and chests, especially when free of ormolu mounts, were often strengthened by ebonizing, a highly unusual device perhaps unique to the firm of Mayhew and Ince.'

See:

The Antique Collector, June 1971, Edward T. Joy and Brian Somerset Kern, 'An English Neo-Classic Commode and Some Interesting Comparisons', pp 126-133

Identical marquetry ewers are found on a pair of George III marquetry pier tables from the Collection of Patricia M. Kluge to be sold in Charlottesville, Virginia on June 8-9, 2010.

A Celebration of the English Country House

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New York