Mallett - Antique Furniture 2002

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Recently scanned from the Mallett catalogue archive. This antique catalogue was published in 2002

Transcript of Mallett - Antique Furniture 2002

  • M A L L E T T Established 1 8 6 5

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  • MALLETT

    141 N E W B O N D STREET, L O N D O N W1

    B O U R D O N H O U S E , 2 DAVIES STREET, L O N D O N W

  • CONTHNTS

    MALLETT IN B O N D STREET

    Mallett & Son (Antiques) Ltd

    141 New Bond Street

    London W IS 2BS

    Telephone: +44 (0)20 7499 7411

    Fax: +44 (0)20 7495 3179

    MALLETT GALLERY

    Mallett & Son (Antiques) Ltd

    141 New Bond Street

    London W IS 2BS

    Telephone: +44 (0)20 7499 7411

    Fax: +44 (0)20 7495 3179

    MALLETT AT B O U R D O N HOUSE

    Mallett at Bourdon House Ltd

    2 Davies Street

    London W I K 3DJ

    Telephone: +44 (0)20 7629 2444

    Fax: +44 (0)20 7499 2670

    Mallett Website: www.mallettantiques.com

    Email: antiques@mallett.co.uk

    Front cover: Detail of the Radnor wall sconces

    (see pages 20-21). Frontispiece: Detail from a Chinese export

    black and gold lacquer nine fold screen ^

    (see pages 60-62). Right: Stourbridge cameo vase

    {see page 75).

  • L O N D O N A N D NEW Y O R K

    Opening our Spring catalogue last year,

    I reflected on how 'history never stops

    happening'. Could we ever have expected

    the enormity of the terrible events that

    would take place in September?

    The United States of America, and New

    York especially, have suffered greatly and

    circumstances for all of us, worldwide,

    have changed. But things have to go on

    and, in a determination for a return to the

    normal freedom which we cherish, London

    and New York have become closer it

    seems. Despite difficulties, English dealers

    have taken exhibitions to the USA and

    Mallett's special show in December in

    New York was wonderfully supported by

    our clients, as was the January Fair.

    For many years we have hoped to open a

    permanent shop in New York. It is with

    enormous excitement that we have now

    decided to do this in early 2003. At 929

    Madison Avenue we shall have extensive

    showrooms offering a regularly changing

    selection of fine pieces drawn from our two

    London shops and including the Gallery.

    This business will operate as a close link

    with London - a 'portal' to the huge

    treasure house of our international business.

    In the meantime we hope you will enjoy

    this selection of magnificent furniture,

    paintings and objets d'art, and hopefully

    we shall be able to welcome you in London

    during the year.

    Lanto Synge

    Chief Executive

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  • M A L L E T T IN BOND STREET

  • THE HAGLEY HALL TABLES

    A highly important pair of mid 18th century mahogany side tables of large scale and slightly serpentine form, attributed to William Vile, the frieze with a broad band of blind fret carving with shell and flower moulding above, the shaped apron formed of scroll mouldings adjoining large acanthus sprays interspersed with fret patterns, raised on boldly scrolling cabriole legs carved with elaborate foliate cartouches at the knees and ending in large acanthus scroll feet, supporting later tops of Medicis Breccia Sienna marble.

    English, circa 1755-60 Height: W U in / 93.5 cm Width: 72 in / 183 cm Depth: 35 in / 89 cm

    PROVENANCE: Formerly in the co l lec t ion o f the

    11th Viscount Cobham at Hagley Hall, Worcestershire .

    Originally made for Sir George Lyttelton, 5th Baronet, 1st Baron Lyttelton of Frankley, for Fiagley F^all, and thence by descent.

    LITERATURE: F4 Avray Tipping, English Homes, Early Georgian, Period V, Vol I, Country Life 1921, pp 323-330, pi 390. Christopher Fiussey, English Country Houses, Early Georgian, Country Life 1955, pp 195-199, pi 353. Geoffrey Beard, The Connoisseur Yearbook, 1954, pp 11-17, pi XIa.

    THE LYTTELTON FAMILY The Lyttelton family, later created Viscounts Cobham, have lived at Hagley since the 16th century and it was Sir George Lyttelton, 5th Bt, created Lord Lytton, I St Baron of Frankley, in 1756, for whom Hagley Hall was built between 1753 and 1760.

    George Lyttelton was the son of Sir Thomas Lyttelton, 4th Bt, and his wife Christian, sister of Sir Richard Temple of Stowe, who was created Baron Cobham in 1714 and Viscount Cobham in 1718. Several generations later, in 1889, the 5th Baron Lyttelton inherited the title of Viscount Cobham by means of the special

    remainder attached to the title in 1718 which had allowed succession through the female line in the event of there being no male heirs.

    Sir George had a long career in politics and was renowned as an orator. Having entered parliament in 1735 as MP for Okehampton, Devon, he soon became Principal Secretary to the Prince of Wales and by 1756 had held the offices of a Lord of the Treasury, Cofferer to the Household and Chancellor and Under Treasurer of Court of the Exchequer. He was very much in touch with informed taste of the time and moved among the cognoscenti. A writer and poet himself, he was a generous sponsor of literature and numbered many writers among his friends.

    HAGLEY HALL The present Hagley Hall stands on the site of an earlier Elizabethan half-timbered house. Succeeding to the baronetcy and to the estate in 1751, the 5th Baronet, who had already begun embellishing the landscape of the park, set about planning

  • the new house. He drew upon the taste and expertise of a group of friends and associates, who were not ail strictly professionals but rather the gifted gentlemen amateurs who played such a part in the artistic and cultural life of the mid-Georgian era. This 'committee' included John Chute and Thomas Barrett, both friends of Horace Walpole, Thomas Prowse MP and Sanderson Miller.

    Of the various plans submitted and hotly discussed, that of John Chute in 1752 became the basis for the design, although Sanderson Miller was eventually appointed architect. Conceived on Italian Renaissance lines, the plans for Hagley underwent many alterations to conform to the owners' exacting requirements, particularly those of Lady Lyttelton. Her opinions were pivotal; indeed. Lord North wrote of the project, If an Italian house is built, it is my lady. Miller appears to have undertaken the work for little or no financial reward but did, on final completion in 1759, receive from Lord Lyttelton the following note of approval:

    The beauty and elegance of it now the furnishing of it is completed and most of the furniture up exceeds my expectations.

    The relative restraint of the Palladian exterior belies the richness of the interiors with their magnificent stucco work and painted ceilings, considered by many to be the greatest surviving series of rooms in the English rococo style. The plasterwork was done by a hitherto unrecorded Italian, Francesco Vassali, and the painting by James 'Athenian' Stuart, who also designed in 1759 the Doric Temple in the park. Carved stonework of superb quality, including fireplaces, was carried out by James Lovell, Soho tapestries were supplied by Joshua Morris and fine furniture in the latest fashion was commissioned.

    This pair of tables stood in the principal reception room at Hagley Hall, the Saloon. A set of carved mahogany side chairs of complimentary design to the tables, with upholstered backs and seats, was also supplied for this room. What makes these tables so particularly significant is their

    relation to the interior decoration of the room and its overall scheme. Made to the very latest rococo fashion, they not only complemented the other furnishings but also reflected Vassali's great plasterwork and even details of the fireplace.

    T H E A T T R I B U T I O N

    This pair of tables has long been associated with Chippendale's workshop. However, it is now believed that these tables, as well as certain chairs at Hagley, one particular set designed to stand with the tables, were made by William Vile, whose firm of William Vile 8c Co was established at least as early as 1751 in St Martin's Lane, London. He later formed a renowned partnership with John Cobb.

    In Georgian Cabinet-Makers, Margaret Jourdain states; In the period covered by the first decade of George Ill's reign, pride of place among contemporary cabinet-makers must be assigned to Vile, whose existing work has a distinction without parallel and is unchallenged by anything known to have been produced by

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  • Chippendale's firm while working in the rococo style.

    This is praise indeed and a clear explanation for the patronage William Vile received from Royalty and the nobility.

    The Great Wardrobe accounts reveal the extent of work carried out by Vile for the Royal Household. Furniture was made and work carried out for Buckingham House, St James's Palace and Windsor Castle between 1761 and 1765. Probably the most celebrated pieces are the pair of mahogany medal cabinets bearing the star of the Order of the Garter, made for George III and now in the Victoria and Albert Museum, and the cabinet of mahogany and padouk, inlaid with ivory, made for Queen Charlotte's jewels in 1761, still at Buckingham Palace.

    A mahogany 'secretary' with fretwork decoration and a bombe base was supplied to the Queen's apartments in 1761 and also a work table for the Queen in 1763. These two pieces are interesting in that they both combine the new fashion for 'Chinese' fretwork decoration within rococo forms. This is also the case with these tables from Hagley. In particular, the

    work table incorporates a fret pattern of similar design to that on the aprons of these side tables. The Royal Palaces apart, the impressive client list of Vile &