A Pair of late neo-classical carved torcheres
Lot 126
A pair of late Victorian mahogany and satinbirch Torcheres
Sold for £8,160 (US$ 12,796) inc. premium

Lot Details
A pair of late Victorian mahogany and satinbirch Torcheres
in the Adam Revival style, possibly attributable to Wright and Mansfield,
the round tops with low moulded galleries and a beaded and lappet carved edge each with three carved ram's heads and aprons of husk carved pendant tassels on three beaded moulded legs supporting undertiers with flaming urn finials on outswept cloven hoof feet, with paper labels for The Hague Collection, 31cm diam, 129cm high.

Footnotes

  • Provenance:
    Sir Harry Hague (1881-1960)
    thence by descent to his wife Lady Lily Hague, The Chantry, Barnet Lane, Elstree, Hertfordshire
    Sold Sotheby’s London, 23 June, 1961, lot 149 (illustrated)

    This type of torchère, popularised by Robert Adam, comprises three long ram-headed uprights, supporting the top and also enclosing an urn, or in some cases a column. Although not believed to have been made in the eighteenth century, the present pair may well have been made by the celebrated 19th century cabinet makers Wright and Mansfield. Wright and Mansfield were the leading exponents of Adam and Sheraton Revival furniture and were regular exhibitors in London and Paris winning medals in the London 1862 Exhibition for marquetry furniture. About the firm, the magazine The Cabinet Maker & Art Furnisher, vol. VII, July 1, 1886, reported:, 'They must be accounted the leaders of that passing fashion which has happily brought back into our houses many of the charming shapes of the renowned eighteenth century cabinet makers .... the best forms of Chippendale, Hepplewhite and particularly Sheraton have been made to live again under the renovating influence of these able manufacturers'. Amongst their notable commissions is the only surviving suite of reception rooms completely decorated and furnished by the firm for the 7th Earl and Countess of Aberdeen in the 1880’s at Haddo House, Aberdeenshire (c.f. E. Harris, Adams in the Family: Wright and Mansfield at Haddo, Guisachan, Brook House and Grosvenor Square, Furniture History 1996, pp.141-158).

    The entrepreneur Sir Harry Hague was the managing director of A.Wander Ltd, the company who manufactured the chocolate malt drink Ovaltine. At the time of the Second World War, Ovaltine was one of the most popular brands in Britain; it was the official drink of the 1948 Olympics and was carried up Mount Everest by Sir Edmund Hillary in 1953. Sir Harry invested the fortune he had amassed from Ovaltine in his art collection and employed the renowned furniture historian and connoisseur RW Symonds to advise him. The sale of the collection following Sir Harry’s death, comprised over eighty lots, many of which were catalogued as being sold with RW Symonds ‘certificate of authenticity’.

    The Chantry in Barnet Lane, Elstree was built in the early twentieth century for a Mr A. Brampton (see William Page (Ed.), Victoria County History of Hertfordshire, Vol. III, 1908, p.349). The house, described in as being of ‘modern construction’ and set in nearly four acres was purchased by Sir Harry Hague in 1925 (cf. The Times, August 15, 1925).
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