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An important Victorian ivory and hardstone inlaid ebony cabinet designed Alfred Lorimer for Jackson and Graham, circa 1867
of architectural form in Italian Renaissance style, the stepped upper section with broken arch pediment centred by a mythical coat-of-arms with a yellow gold crown over a pale blue enamelled 'K' monogram on a lapis ground, the arched panel glazed door flanked by two pairs of Corinthian columns with carved capitals and two panel doors, each over a short drawer, the lower section with moulded edge over four fluted Corinthian pilasters, flanking three panelled doors, on a plinth base, stamped Jackson & Graham to carcase in several places, the locks stamped by Chubb & Co., Makers to Her Majesty, No.596210, the reverse with fragment of lot entry from 1885 sale catalogue
285cm. high, 210cm. wide, 65.5cm. deep; 112in., 83in., 25¾in.
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來源

Christie's London, 14 December 1885, lot 586 (500 gns. to J.L.);
The collection of Siegfried Sassoon Esq.;
Christie's London, 15 October 1981, lot 182. 

展覽

The Paris Universal Exhibition, 1867;
The International Exhibition, London, 1871;
Vienna Universal Exhibition, 1873 (Ehren. Diplom.)

出版

'The Paris Universal Exhibition, 1867', Art Journal, 1867, p. 7;
'The International Exhibition, 1871', Art Journal, 1871, p. 81;
Yapp., G. W., Art Industry - Furniture, Upholstery and House-Decoration, 1879, pls. XC and CXXXII;
Symonds, R. W. and Whineray, B. B., Victorian Furniture, Great Britain, 1962, p. 118, fig. 43;
Aslin, E., 19th Century English Furniture, London, 1962, p. 41;
Meyer, J., Great Exhibitions, London - New York - Paris - Philadelphia, 1851-1900, Woodbridge, 2006, p. 181, fig. E25.

相關資料

When this extraordinary cabinet was first exhibited at the Paris Universal Exhibition of 1867, it was described in the accompanying illustrated Art Journal catalogue as ‘beyond doubt a chef-d’oeuvre that would do honour to any period, and has no rival even where such production have hitherto maintained supremacy'[1]. Four years later, at the International Exhibition of 1871 in London, it was lauded to similar acclaim. In the same publication, George Wallis - Keeper of the Art Collections at the South Kensington Museum - exclaimed, ‘The CABINET, of which this page contains an engraving (fig. 1), will be classed amongst the most admirable specimens of its class: perhaps no country, in our time, has produced a work so perfect [2].' The national bias can be forgiven as close inspection of the cabinet confirms its peerless quality.

Conceived in the High Renaissance style, the cabinet was designed by Alfred Lorimer, the principal designer of Jackson and Graham of 37 Oxford Street. The precise circumstances surrounding the commission are uncertain. It has been suggested it was commissioned by Thomas Earl of Bective (1844-1893) - formerly Baron of Kenlis or Kells - to celebrate his marriage in 1867 at a staggering cost of £4,000. Why it was subsequently offered in a sale of Jackson and Graham's unsold stock in 1885 remains a mystery[3].

Jackson and Graham were perhaps the leading London cabinet-makers and decorators of the mid-Victorian period. The firm was established in 1836 and quickly became recognised as one the most fashionable suppliers. Jackson and Graham were bestowed the honour of decorating the dais erected for the Royal family for the opening of the Great Exhibition in the Crystal Palace in 1851 and went on to exhibit widely. In addition to the aforementioned exhibitions, the firm showed at Paris in 1855, London again in 1862, and Paris again in 1878. The firm's prize-winning Louis XVI style cabinet from the 1855 Paris exhibition was purchased by the Nation in the same year for £2,000 and is preserved in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London (No. 7247:1 to 13-1860).

The Christie’s catalogue entry from 1981 lists ‘Siegfried Sassoon Esq.’ in the provenance. Tantalisingly, we are unable to confirm whether this relates to the lauded war poet Siegfried Sassoon (1886-1967), although he is a likely candidate being a member of the powerful Sassoon dynasty who would certainly have been in a position to acquire furniture of this calibre in the later part of the 19th century.

[1] The Art Journal, 1867, p. 7

[2] The Art Journal, 1871, p. 81

[3] Aslin, E., 19th Century English Furniture, London, 1962, p. 41.

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