George III Mahogany Secretaire-Cabinet on Stand attributed to Thomas Chippendale
Of breakfront form, the scrolled pediment with later fretwork panels, centered and flanked by urn finials, the center section fitted with a pair of glazed doors and patera-mounted corners, opening to later glass shelves and flanked by similar doors also opening to shelves, the projecting lower section fitted with a central frieze drawer opening to a leather slide and flanked by drawers, raised on husk-carved tapering square legs headed by paterae and ending in block feet. Height 89 inches (226 cm), width 62 inches (157.5 cm), depth 26 inches (66 cm).
Stair & Co., Inc., New York.
Sold, Parke-Bernet Galleries, The Walter P. Chrysler Jr. Collection, April 29, 1960, lot 147.
Partridge (Fine Arts) Ltd., London.
Sold, Sotheby's, New York, April 12-13, 1996, lot 488.
Purchased from the above sale by the present owner.
This secretaire-cabinet exhibits characteristics found in Thomas Chippendale's designs in The Gentleman and Cabinet-Maker's Director, 1762, for 'A China Case,' pl. CXXXVI, 'A Lady's Writing Table & Bookcase,' pl. CXVI, and a 'Library Bookcase,' pl. XCV. The present cabinet is similar in outline to the design for the 'China Case.: of breakfront form, the cornice with finials and fitted with glazed doors. However, unlike the present lot, the 'China Case' is in the Chinese taste, with a pagoda cresting, fretwork glazing bars to the doors and blind fret-carved square legs. The present cabinet shares more elements with Chippendale's design for 'A Lady's Writing Table & Bookcase,' whose 'upper Doors are intended for glass,' and a center drawer, 'which hath a Slider covered with a green Cloth, or Spanish leather,' op. cit., p. 14. This design, illustrated in the Director, is an example of Chippendale's burgeoning interest in the neo-classical style. Although Chippendale incorporates remnants of 'Chinese,' 'Gothick' and rococo taste in the 1762 edition of the Director, he is starting to use newly-popular 'Antique' elements. These motifs were advocated by the architect Robert Adam, self-named 'Bob the Roman,' who had spent almost four years on the Grand Tour studying Roman architecture and incorporated elements of Roman design into his work. Adam worked with Chippendale most notably at Harewood House and his influence is seen on the present lot in Chippendale's use of urn-from finials and panels with patera-mounted inset corners to the flanking cabinets, tapering square legs carved with husks and block feet. This cabinet is firmly rooted in neo-classical design both in form and its use of simplified decoration with motifs derived from 'Antique' or classical sources. Cf. two related examples: Christie's, London, The Samuel Messer Collection, December 5, 1991, lot 128, sold again, Christie's, New York, October 23, 2002, lot 29; another, Christie's, New York, October 12, 1990, lot 173, formerly in the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Jack Warner.
C Property of a Private Collector, New York
Additional Notes & Condition Report
Any condition statement is given as a courtesy to a client, is an opinion and should not be treated as a statement of fact and Doyle New York shall have no responsibility for any error or omission. Please contact the specialist department to request further information or additional images that may be available.
No condition report? Click here to request one.