300
300

PROPERTY OF A PRIVATE COLLECTOR

A large two-tone giltwood gesso overmantel mirror, possibly executed by Morant and Sons, second quarter 19th century
JUMP TO LOT
300

PROPERTY OF A PRIVATE COLLECTOR

A large two-tone giltwood gesso overmantel mirror, possibly executed by Morant and Sons, second quarter 19th century
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

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A large two-tone giltwood gesso overmantel mirror, possibly executed by Morant and Sons, second quarter 19th century
the oblong plate within attenuated stylised palm tree uprights with dead game and cherubs spearing dragons, the crest with billing doves, gilding refreshed in part
290cm. high, 215cm. wide; 9ft. 6in., 8ft. 3in.
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Provenance

Probably supplied by G J Morant and retailed by Thomas Fairs, 139 New Bond Street to William F Middleton (d. 1860);
Moved to Shrubland Park, Suffolk by William Middleton and thence by descent;
Sold Shrubland Park House Sale, Sotheby's, 19-21 September 2006, lot 189. 

Catalogue Note

Shrubland Park, the vast Italianate Pallazzo overlooking the Gipping Valley, Suffolk, stands as one of the most audacious architectural achievements of any English country house. The original house was designed in 1770 by James Paine (1717 - 1789) and still remains the central core of Shrubland, however, it was during Sir William Middleton’s tenure at the house that the most extraordinary development took place. Employing the architect James Gandy-Deering (1787 - 1850) and subsequently Alexander Roos (1810 - 1881) Middleton set about re-designing both the aspect and interior of the house. The façade to the front of the house was extended and the terraced gardens raised, relegating the ground floor as the principal suite of rooms. The first floor thus became a classical Piano Nobile and required new furnishing to suit.

The family archives reveal that the Middleton’s were rapacious collectors. Repeated continental tours saw them return with works of art including Soldier Gambling by Caravaggio bought from the Giustinini Palace in Rome and The Virgin and Child attributed to Bernado Luini from the Acquila Palace in Como. In England the family were buying furniture and decorative arts form the great London makers and dealers with invoices from Baldock, Miles and Edwards, Thomas Fairs and G J Morant. It is known that Fairs was responsible for supplying a pair of console tables and this mirror for the drawing room, however, it is likely that he was merely the retailer and it was G J Morant who was responsible for executing the work. The firm is known to have worked closely with the architect James Barry, who carried out the 19th century alterations at Shrublands. The mirror also bears stylistic similarities with some of the firm’s known work dating from the middle of the 19th century. In 1984 a table with very similar cherub supports, similarly white painted and parcel-gilt was sold through the dealer Tony Bunzl, which was stamped G.I.Morant, 91 Bond Street. Some of the furniture supplied for both Arundel Castle and Lancaster House also bears similarities.

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