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Details & Cataloguing

Vivien: The Vivien Leigh Collection

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London

England
TWO WATERFALL BOOKCASES
ebonised and gilt-decorated pine
larger 138.5 by 71 by 29cm. and smaller 124.5 by 89 by 30cm.; 54¼ by 28 by 11½in. and 48¾ by 35 by 12in.
19th century
Both made in the first half of the 19th century.
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Catalogue Note

These bookcases could well have been supplied by John Fowler to Vivien. Their Regency form and painted finish would have appealed to him enormously. At the start of his career he learnt and honed an array of decorative painting techniques, working for Thornton Smith a commercial decorator in Soho and then for Margaret Kunzer an antique dealer who would source early 19th century painted pine and beech furniture which Fowler would enhance (see Chester Jones, Colefax & Fowler, London, 1989, p. 11). This sort of furniture became a key ingredient in his stock and decorative schemes, most notably in his celebrated partnership with Sibyl Colefax.

Vivien: The Vivien Leigh Collection

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London