The distinctive stylised plume cresting combined with the distinctive strapwork borders to the upper part of the lantern and the foliated scrolls to the apron, closely relate to a group of mirrors associated with cabinet and looking glass maker, John Belchier. In particular the cresting corresponds to a mirror supplied for the `Best Bedchamber' at Erddig, Wales, which formed part of a major commission for his parton John Meller (see Martin Drury, `Early Eighteenth Century Furniture at Erddig', Apollo, July 1978, p. 49, fig. 5). The remaining decorative motifs are paralelled on the other mirrors from the same commission, illustrated Drury op. cit., pp. 48-50. The side brackets on an overmantel mirror retaining Belchier's trade label, sold Christie's London, 16 September 1999, lot 66, also relate to elements of the apron to the offered lot.
John Belchier, a cabinet-maker recorded at The Sun, on the south side of St. Paul's Church Yard in 1717 until his death in 1753 at the age of seventy. His trade labels appeared in several formats, cut as either a square or circle with his name spelt either 'Bel-Chier' or, 'Belchier.' Another more informative variant was a rectangular label, headed by his shop sign - an ornamental sun - which appears on the reverse of a burr walnut bureau cabinet sold in these Rooms, 14 November 1980, lot 30. It notes that Belchier was a maker of 'fine Peer and Chimney-Glasses, and Glass Sconces, Likewise all Cabbinet Makers Goods.'
Belchier, whose name is thought to reflect Huguenot origins, was possibly the son of another important craftsman, also John Belchier, who may well be the tradesman who worked extensively for Ralph, 1st Duke of Montagu, at Boughton House. John Belchier, the younger, received his most significant commission from John Meller at Erddig, Wales, for whom he produced not only the comparable mirror (illustrated in Drury op. cit. fig.49) but a celebrated suite of gilt and silvered gesso furniture during the 1720s (see Drury, op. cit, pp.46-55). In the 1730s he also carried out important work for the Purefoy family at Shalston, Buckinghamshire. In addition to cabinet work, Belchier also produced both clear and mirrored glass. Records reveal that he supplied a quantity of glass for St. Paul's Cathedral in the 1720s and in all likelihood he manufactured the glass for his own furniture
A closely related pair of carved giltwood wall lanterns with provenance from the 14th Duke of Hamilton and Brandon (d. 1973) is in the Collection of John Gerstenfeld, illustrated in Edward. Lennox-Boyd, ed. Masterpieces of English Furniture, The Gerstenfeld Collection, 1998, p. 108, pl. 83. Another pair of Lanterns of the same design as those in the Gerstenfeld Collection is recorded at Dichley Park, with provenance from the 4th Earls of Lichfield and illustrated in Lennox-Boyd op. cit., p. 108, pl. 82.
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