2001 - Mallett - The Nineteenth Century

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2001 - Mallett - The Nineteenth Century antique furniture catalogue published by Mallett at Bourdon House.

Transcript of 2001 - Mallett - The Nineteenth Century

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  • M A L L E T T riie Nineteenth Century

    B o u r d o n Mouse 2 I )a \ ics S i ree l L o u d o n W I

    (111(1 [\\ 111 New B o n d S l i ' c c I L o n d o n W I

  • I n l r o d u c l i o n

    This year we are proud to be able to offer our cl ients a catalogue which is both a selection

    of some of the most important and fine qual ity 19th century pieces Ma l le t t has ever

    acquired and which also captures the charm and whimsy of the age. The Jackson and

    Graham centre table (page 4) is an exceptional piece of furniture which highlights the

    mastery of marquetry achieved during the V ic to r ian era. In tandem we have the Baccarat

    occasional table (page 56) which equal ly is a testament to man's t r iumph over mater ia ls.

    Neither of these pieces would be possible today: the hours required coupled with the loss

    of ski l ls render such creat ions unrepeatable. However the V ic tor ian age was not just about

    technical excellence; it was also a period when new creative freedoms were sought. Here

    we i l lustrate several works that draw inspirat ion f rom the l iberation init iated by the

    Impressionist movement.The 19th century is remembered for its rigidity and discipl ine but

    in its arts and crafts the range of media and ideas employed is a lmost unbounded. By

    showing tables made of iron and glass in addit ion to the works which revived Renaissance

    and medieval designs we hope to be able to give a true taste of the age.

    Both at Bourdon House and at Bond Street we continue to show 19th century pieces

    alongside the creat ions of other epochs. It has always been the ethos of Ma l l e t t to combine

    and connect decorat ive arts in an eclect ic manner. Therefore^ though we celebrate the 19th

    century with in these pages and in our showrooms, we aspire to tempt our cl ients to buy

    f rom al l eras.

    The re-evaluation of the decorat ive arts of the 19th century is part ly driven by the

    observation that the greatest creat ions of the age can be acquired for much less than those

    of the previous century. There were obvious changes in style, and methods changed as did

    materials, however ingenuity and ski l l did not diminish. In this catalogue we hope to

    demonstrate the qual i ty of the age and show that many pieces are sti l l undervalued in

    compar ison to their antecedents.

    We look forward to discussing with you any piece that you may find of interest.

    Thomas Woodham-Smi th Henry Nevil le

  • An exhibition centre table An exceptional mid 19th century, satinwood circular breakfast-table, profusely inlaid with geometric and floral ornament in precious timbers, including rosewood, sycamore, ebony and ivory. The top has a border of multiple cross-bandings and a motif of inlaid marquetry guilloche.The central patera is a floral design surrounded by floral arabesques, which continue into the next bands of ornament which are linked at the outer edge with floral swags. The whole stands on elaborately inlaid, simulated fluted columns with a circular segmented platform stretcher terminating in profusely inlaid scroll feet.Throughout, the marquetry and cabinet-making is of the highest calibre. By Jackson and Graham

    s I n

    England, circa 1860

    Height: 28in (71cm) Diameter: 50in (127cm)

  • Clive Edwards, in an art ic le for the Furniture History Society

    describes tliis famous firm, Jackson and Graham, thus: " In the

    pantheon of Victorian furnishing enterprises, few names are more

    important than Jackson and Graham". Charlotte Gere and iVIichaei

    Whiteway describe Jackson and Graham in their work ^Nineteenth

    Century Design' as "probably the most important High Victor ian

    cabinet-making f i rm" . With academe clamouring to lavish praise

    of such high degree on this company's head, why is it that almost

    no one has heard of them? The truth is that the endeavours of

    19th century cabinet-makers are still undervalued.The advent of

    the mechanical age and the lush overelaboration of the epoch

    combine to render the whole Victorian era as seemingly second

    rate. The mistake this idea represents is only now coming to light.

    Indeed Jackson and Graham celebrated this same mechanisation.

    They delighted in the fact that their machines afforded them the

    opportunity to execute a sophistication of marquetry that mere

    hand work could never have achieved. It is true that Jackson and

    Graham were elaborate in their confections, but the sophistication

    contained therein rendered their work superior to all but a few.

    The f irm was active between 1836 and 1885. They had

    premises in Oxford Street, which gradually expanded until they

    control led six buildings on the same street. They were great

    exhibitors at fairs and like other cabinet-makers of the age they

    employed fashionable designers and architects to enhance their

    work. Amongst these, Jackson and Graham employed Dr

    Christopher Dresser and Bruce Talbert. However, the longest

    and closest affil iate was Owen Jones. He was central to the work

    carried out for Al f red Morr ison at 16 Carlton House Terrace

    and Fonthill, Wiltshire. Pieces made for Morr ison were shown

    at exhibitions around Europe and Owen Jones'sty le defines the

    Jackson and Graham look.The f i rm gradually moved into decline

    through a mixture of internal strife and external trading conditions,

    finally being bought out by their rivals, Collinson & Lock, in 1885.

  • A f)air of Gothic painted jardinieres A pair of late 19th century Gothic painted metal jardinieres. The pierced sides are enriched with a quatrefoi

    terminating in fleur de lys, bordered by a ring. The fleur de lys motif is continued with large-scale finials.

    England, circa 1880

    Overall height: 20in {51cm)

    Square: 13in (33cm)

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  • I wo verre d ea A \erre d'eau' consisting of a tray with a large and a small

    decanter, a covered bowl and a glass on a light baluster stem. The

    whole suite is made from fine latticino glass swirling out from the

    central point. All the elements are decorated with bands known as

    'torsades' in emerald green and white thread twisted glass.

    St. Louis, France, circa 1850

    Diameter of tray: 12in (30.5cm)

    Height of decanter: 12in (30.5cm)

    A 'verre d'eau' consisting of a lightly cut tray, upon which rests a

    large and a small decanter, a covered bowl and a footed tumbler all

    decorated with large hexagonal facets. The two stoppers and the

    handle of the bowl contain miliefiori bouquets of flowers.

    Baccarat, France, circa. 1850

    Diameter of tray: l l i n (29.2cm)

    Height of decanter: lOin (26.5cm)

    10

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  • A i i iomcnl (Voni [\\c sie^e of IVov O ./

    A Charles X period, oil on canvas, neo-classical scene, depicting Hector remonstrating with Helen

    and Paris. The scene is taken from the story of the siege of Troy.

    Signed Boidier and dated 1830

    Framed: 30 x 26in (76 x 66cm)

    The enthusiasm during the

    19th century for history

    and in particular ancient

    history was unbounded.

    The siege of Troy seemed a

    very romantic subject to

    those living amongst the

    first fruits of the Industrial

    Revolution. In no other

    period of history has this

    subject been so fully

    explored. Critics and

    general observers alike

    looked to the stories and

    legends of ancient Greece

    and Rome for a model for

    contemporary life. Here we

    see Paris and Helen

    languishing, while Paris'

    brother Hector, who was

    the warrior leader of the

    Trojans, has come to

    remonstrate with his

    brother for not fighting.

    As the story was so well

    known it was not necessary

    to explain the short or

    long-term outcomes. The

    symbolism here is twofold;

    on the one hand we see an

    allegory of work versus

    idleness and on the other

    we are given a fantasy rich

    with romance and

    glamorous detail. In the

    true Victorian spirit we are

    being taught a lesson

    whilst being aesthetically

    entertained.

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  • A Renaissance revival side table A Victorian yew wood two-drawer side table in the manner of Richard Bridgens.The top is decorated with a trompe I'oeil parquetry top of diamonds of yew wood creating the impression of stepped cubes. The top is bordered with an ogee moulding. The frieze has two drawers, each unusually canted towards the centre, which is enriched with an armorial cartouche. The drawers have boldly carved scrolling shell handles, which are flanked by pierced relief strapwork. The legs are strongly carved and have a large rectangular capital carved with a recessed panel. The bottom half of the leg is square and tapering and is similarly carved with recessed panels and has a large carved cabochon at the centre. The whole stands on ball feet.

    England, circa 1845

    Height: 36in (91.5cm) Width: 61in (155cm) Depth: 27in (68.5cm)

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  • A n ()C(*asi()iial table l)y Jciuiens and Bcl lr idge A rare early V ic tor ian c i rcu lar table by Jennens and Bettr idge. The japanned top is decorated with polychrome exotic birds and

    butterfl ies in f lowering branches with gilt leaves on an apple green ground