A mid Victorian carved oak writing tableby Crace and Sons, the design probably by A.W.N Pugin
Lot 380
A mid Victorian carved oak writing tableby Crace and Sons, the design probably by A.W.N Pugin
Sold for £4,560 (US$ 7,444) inc. premium

Lot Details
A mid Victorian carved oak writing table
by Crace and Sons, the design probably by A.W.N Pugin
the rectangular moulded edge top inset with a later writing surface above a pair of frieze drawers and opposing moulded frieze, on solid end supports carved with scrolling leaves and joined by a rosette carved and line incised stretcher on chamfered and rosette carved stile supports, 138cm wide, 68cm deep, 77cm high (54" wide, 26.5" deep, 30" high).

Footnotes

  • Formerly at Abney Hall, Cheshire, part of the furnishings of the Prince Concort's Bedroom.
    Sold at the Brady and Son contents sale of Abney Hall, 17-21 and 24-28 March 1958, lot 2381.

    Abney Hall was built on the site of the Cheadle Grove Print Works which burnt to the ground in 1847.
    Alfred Orell, a former Stockport Mayor, built his house 'The Grove' on the sige in 1847 and on Orell's death in 1852 the house was bought by Sir James Watts, the Mayor of Manchester who remodelled the house and renamed it Abney Hall. Prince Albert stayed at Abney Hall on his trip to Manchester to attend the Art Treasures Exhibition in 1857, a visit that was to result in Watts' knighthood. A.W.N Pugin was to work on designs for the interior of Abney but only completed 17 drawings for the project before his descent into mental instability and eventual death in 1852. The work was to be executed in conjunction with the firm of Crace and ultimately was largely executed by them. This resulted in the use of a rather over-blown Gothic in many of the rooms, particularly the drawing room, a style not in keeping with the more reformed style favoured by Pugin in the later decades of his career. The above lot does link closely to pieces actually designed by Pugin for Abney such as the pair of oak serving tables and the dining table supplied for the dining room. Abney was later to play host to many other notable figures including Disraeli, Gladstone, Edward VII and E.M Forster. The reclusive Agatha Christie was a frequent visitor while Abney was in the possession of her brother-in-law and penned two novels at the hall, The Tale of the Christmas pudding and After the Funeral.


    John Gregory Crace (1809-1889) entered the family firm in 1826 soon after work had been completed on Carlton House and Brighton Pavillion. Crace became closely associated with Pugin following works on the New Palace of Westminster and was to become a leading exponent of the Gothic revival style supervising the decoration of the Medieval Court at the Great Exhibtion (1851). He was later responsible for the interior of the 1862 Exhibtion building. After Pugin's death he continued to work in a Pugin inspired style, using E.W Pugin's designs at Scarisbrick in the 1870s. In 1854 his son John Diblee Crace joined the family firm and later pioneered the use of the Renaissance Revival Style.
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