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Details & Cataloguing

Old Master & British Works on Paper

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London

John Gregory Crace
LONDON 1809 - 1889
INTERIOR OF ST. JAMES'S THEATRE, LONDON
Quantity: 2
Watercolour over pencil, heightened with bodycolour;
together with the original pen and ink design for the St. James's Theatre;
signed and inscribed lower right: The Original Design for the St James's theatre / John G Crace  
The first 256 by 297 mm; the second 311 by 420 mm
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Provenance

Sale, London, Sotheby's, 10 July 1997, lot 116,
where acquired by Bernadette and William M.B. Berger, Denver, Colorado

Catalogue Note

In 1824, the famous tenor John Braham bought the site of the St James’s Theatre, a run-down hotel in King Street Piccadilly for £8,000. He spent a further £18,000 on a new building designed by Samuel Beazley and built by Grissell & Peto. He entrusted the decoration of the interior to the firm of Frederick Crace. The Crace firm of interior decorators was founded by a coach decorator, Edward Crace, in 1768. It expanded in the early nineenth century and especially in the 1830s under the supervision of John Gregory Crace.

The theatre at this date was described as follows: ‘three and two guinea private boxes adorned the proscenium which [were] surmounted by two circles of five-shilling boxes underneath a one-and-sixpenny gallery.’1

1. D. Barry, The St James’s Theatre – Its Strange & Complete History, London 1964, p. 4

Old Master & British Works on Paper

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London