128
128

PROPERTY FROM THE COLLECTION OF SIR JAMES HORLICK, 4TH BARON HORLICK, OBE

A George I gilt brass mounted parcel gilt walnut secretaire cabinet, in the manner Samuel Bennett, circa 1720
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128

PROPERTY FROM THE COLLECTION OF SIR JAMES HORLICK, 4TH BARON HORLICK, OBE

A George I gilt brass mounted parcel gilt walnut secretaire cabinet, in the manner Samuel Bennett, circa 1720
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Details & Cataloguing

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A George I gilt brass mounted parcel gilt walnut secretaire cabinet, in the manner Samuel Bennett, circa 1720
the swan neck cresting centred with a foliate carved cartouche above a mirrored door with a later bevelled plate, flanked by pilaster one with a concealed escutcheon, enclosing two adjustable shelves above three short drawers, the lower section fitted with a secretaire drawer above three graduated drawers, all fitted with finely cast gilt brass escutcheons and handles, on bracket feet 
244cm. high, 101.5cm. wide, 51cm. deep; 8ft., 3ft. 4in., 1ft. 9in.
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Provenance

Possibly acquired by the Hon. William Lowther (1821 – 1912) for Campsea Ashe High House, Campsea Ashe, Suffolk, circa 1882;
James Lowther, 1st Viscount Ullswater (1855 – 1949), Campsea Ashe High House, Campsea Ashe, Suffolk;
Presumably sold, Garrod, Turner & Son, Ipswich, The Contents of High House, 24-31 October 1949;
Lieutenant-Colonel Sir James Horlick, 4th Baronet, OBE, MC (1886–1972);
Thence by descent.

Literature

L.G.G. Ramsay, 'Chinoiserie in the Western Isles, The Collection of Sir James and Lady Horlick, The Connoisseur, June, 1958, p. 4, fig. 6

Catalogue Note

This striking cabinet noticeably draws inspiration from those designs from the Continent, in particular that of the Dutch and German schools. This trait was not uncommon for the time – for detailed discussion see Gilbert, C. & Murdoch, T., John Channon and brass-inlaid furniture 1730-1760, Yale, 1993, p.24. Yet the fashion in which Channon and his contemporaries approached their works would suggest an altogether different hand – a more plausible candidate is Samuel Bennett (c. 1700 – 1741).There are only a handful of examples which exist and bear Bennett’s mark, which we are aware of today. Two of these in particular have a strong correlation with the present lot.

Bennett favoured the Continental approach, employing seaweed marquetry to both of these labelled examples. Whilst the offered cabinet does not have this attribute there are other aspects to suggest Bennett. One cabinet is currently in the collection of the Victoria & Albert museum (Museum number W.66:1-1924) and like the present lot shares elaborate gilt decoration with a finial and broken swan neck pediment to the top. It does not however share the bombé form of the present work however the second cited example, does. This cabinet lacks the ornate gilt of the Victoria & Albert museum work and the Horlick example; however its form makes it a much more apt comparison to the present work. All three cabinets are surmounted by swan pediments and have fluted pilasters flanking the single mirrored or glass doors. Both cited examples are illustrated in Edwards, R., The Dictionary of English Furniture, Volume One, pp. 136 & 137, figs. 30 - 32.   

Campsea Ashe High House was built for William Glover, a servant of Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke Norfolk, in the early seventeenth-century. Thereafter bought by the prominent Sheppard family in whose possession it remained for near 250 years. In 1865 the house was destroyed by fire whereupon John George Sheppard (d. 1883) commissioned Anthony Salvin (1799 – 1881) to rebuild, where it is possible the offered lot was acquired. On Sheppard’s death, the estate was bought at auction for princely sum of £105,000 by the Hon. William Lowther (1821 – 1912), younger brother of the 3rd Earl of Lonsdale. Lowther's son, James William (1855 – 1949), was speaker of the House of Commons from 1905 until 1921 at which point he became Viscount Ullswater. Following Ullswater’s death in 1949 a sale of the contents was undertaken and High House passed into trust where it remained until demolished in 1953, when the present cabinet was likely bought either by Sir James Horlick, Bt (1886–1972) or more likely an agent who sold to Sir James thereafter. Horlick had bought Achamore house and Ghiga island in 1944 where the cabinet was intended; Horlick was a decorated soldier and politician. He received the Military Cross for his services in World War I and was MP for Gloucester. In the 1958 article 'Chinoiserie in the Western Isles, The Collection of Sir James and Lady Horlick' Horlick is lauded for his excellent taste in English furniture. The offered lot is one of the very few illustrated which does not exhibit Chinoiserie characteristics and is praised for having all vital collecting qualifications by the author.   

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