PROPERTY OF A GENTLEMAN, TOGETHER WITH LOTS 44, 70, 71, 72 AND 73
Baron Mayer Amschel de Rothschild (1818-1874), Mentmore, Buckinghamshire
Thence by descent to his daughter Hannah Primrose, Countess of Rosebery (1851-1890) and son-in-law Archibald Philip Primrose (1847-1929), the 5th Earl of Rosebery (1847-1929), where they were in the Green Drawing Room at Mentmore, photographed in situ circa 1871, (Private Family Album), see fig.1.
Sold on behalf of the Executors of the 6th Earl of Rosebery and his family, Sotheby's, Parke Bernet & Co at Mentmore Buckinghamshire, Mentmore Vol. I, 18th May 1977, lot 21, illustrated p.19.
Purchased by the present owner from Partridge Fine Arts, London, circa 2004.
Recorded in an undated privately printed bound volume of around 1876, where they were previously thought to be Italian, as follows:
65 A pair of Venetian pier-tables, gilt and boldly carved with dolphins, flowers, and scrolls, surmounted by slabs of marble with moulded veined white marble borders.
Recorded in the `The Mentmore Catalogue', compiled by Hannah, Countess of Rosebery, and published by R. & R. Clark of Edinburgh in 1883 and again in two illustrated volumes in 1884, listed in the Green Drawing Room in Vol. I, p. 72:
32. Console-table of wood carved and gilt; Vert morin marble slab.
Workmanship Italian; period Louis XV. of France
33. Companion console-table.
Partridge Fine Arts PLC, Catalogue of Furniture, Silver and Works of Art, 2004, pp. 114-115, illustrated.
Clarissa Bremer-David, Masterpieces in the J.Paul Getty Museum, Decorative Arts, Malibu, 1997, p.72, no. 53, (79.DA.68).
The exhuberant carving on this pair of tables contains much of the decorative vocabulary in the drawings by Nicholas Pineau (1684-1754), the leading rococo designer and the creator, together with Meissonnier, of the `genre pittoresque', which are now in the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris and the Hermitage, St. Petersburg. His designs included grotesque dragons, elaborate cartouches and scallopshells.
The pierced central stylised scallopshell cartouche on the frieze and scallopshells on the knees and dragons are probably inspired by a design for a console table by Nicolas Pineau, circa 1731-32, for the hôtel de Villars, now in the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, reproduced here in fig. 2. However, the dolphins are a most unusual feature and the large size of the tables and the fact they are a pair make them extremely rare and highly desirable.
There is in the Getty Museum, Bremer-David, op. cit., p. 73, no. 53, a console table with exceptional carving and of similar conception, carved with lions' heads, dragons, chimera and serpents with a very similar central cartouche on the frieze.
Nicholas Pineau (1684-1754):
Nicholas Pineau trained as a sculptor and an architect under Jules Hardouin-Mansart and Germain Boffrand as well as the celebrated sculptor Antoine Coysevox and the goldsmith Thomas Germain. He spent the early part of his career in Russia and returned to Paris in 1727. He worked on the boiseries in several hôtels in Paris including the hôtel d'Orrouer which later was owned by Hubert de Givenchy.
He became a member of the Académie de Saint-Luc in 1739 and ten years later its director. His designs were widely copied in France and disseminated throughout Europe. A collection was published in facsimile, by Deshais: Dessins originaux des Maîtres Décorateurs.....Nicholas et Dominique Pineau, Paris, n.d. (1911).
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