A George IV rosewood and brass marquetry bowfront Console Table attributable to George Oakley
Lot 118
A George IV rosewood and brass marquetry bowfront Console Table
attributable to George Oakley
Sold for £ 9,600 (US$ 12,626) inc. premium

Lot Details
A George IV rosewood and brass marquetry bowfront Console Table
attributable to George Oakley
the shaped back-rail inlaid with a central stylised palmette flanked by scrolling leaves above a central oval panel depicting the Judgement of Paris, below a lambrequin flanked by berainesque style marquetry within a band of oak leaves and acorns above a lattice and pendant inlaid frieze and a pair of frieze drawers flanked by paterae, on downswept legs with hairy paw feet and a concave platform stretcher, with indistinct paper label to reverse W.N.Had.., 128cm wide, 56cm deep, 108cm high (50in wide, 22in deep, 42.5in high).


  • The marquetry pattern to the back-rail is identical to that on a pair of rosewood, brass inlaid and parcel gilt side cabinets sold at Christie's London, 19 September 2002, lot 187. An identical oak leaf and acorn border appears on a pair of calamander, ebony and brass marquetry side cabinets in the manner of George Oakley sold at Phillips, London, 24 April 2001, lot 95. The brass pattern to the edge of the top on the above lot appears, without the drop pendants, on a rosewood and brass inlaid sofa table, with a pair of card tables en-suite, from Noseley Hall, Leicestershire, and sold Sotheby’s London, 28 and 29 September 1998. The suite, thought to be by Oakley was probably commissioned by Sir Arthur Grey Hazlerigg, 11th Bt. The stylised roundels that are employed on the above lot appear on a chiffonier in the manner of George Oakley sold at Christie’s New York, 23 October 2002, lot 17 and on another identical model sold Christie’s New York, 19 October 2000, lot 245.

    In C. Gilbert, The Dictionary of English Furniture Makers 1700-1840, George Oakley (c.1765-1841) is listed at 22 Southside of St Paul’s Churchyard when he issued his trade card in 1786, moving to no.35 in 1798 and then in various partnerships with Henry Kettle, Thomas Shackleton and John Evans until his death in 1841. His commissions for Papworth Hall and several items in the Royal Collection are among the few identified pieces. His reputation for supplying fashionable ‘buhl’ furniture was well known, as was his high standard of craftsmanship. He developed a reputation as one of the most original designers of the period and had a fashionable clientele visiting his Bond Street showroom. He received a Royal Warrant in 1799 after a visit from Queen Charlotte. It was noted in the Morning Chronicle of May 1799 ‘…her MAJESTY, the Duke and Duchess of YORK, and the PRINCESSES…highly approved of the splendid variety which has justly attracted the notice of the fashionable world’. In 1801 the London correspondent on the Journal de Luxus und der Moden (Weimar) wrote ‘all people with taste buy their furniture at Oakleys, the most tasteful of the London cabinetmakers’ See M.Jourdain and R.Edwards, Georgian Cabinet Makers, London 1944, p.74.

    Oakley worked for the Prince Regent at Carlton House and also supplied furniture and upholstery for the Mansion House and the Bank of England. His work for the Cheere family of Papworth Hall, Cambridgeshire, is perhaps his best-known commission. Oakley’s invoice for the Papworth Hall bookcase lists it as ‘mahogany winged library case in the Grecian stile’ (sold Christie's London, 18 Nov 1993, lot 117). The Grecian influence is apparent in the design of the cornice and the anthemion decoration, which is also used on the back rail of the table, offered here, in contrast to the French inspired decoration to the main body of the tabletop. Other pieces from the Papworth Hall commission include a set of quartetto tables sold Christie's London, 9 April 1992, lot 109, also a games table offered Phillips London, 11 February 1992, lot 83.

    The French influence that was to dominate in the Regency period was popularised by Percier and Fontaine's Recueil des Decorations Interieures(1812) which showed the grandeur of the Imperial palaces, the same year Rudolf Ackerman also showed in colour French style furniture in four numbers of his magazine. It was an Empire style that matched the mood, which followed the abdication of Napoleon and the restoration of Louis XVIII and caught on in England attracting the attention of the Prince Regent. In particular the work of A.C Boulle was popularised in London by Louis Le Gaigneur who opened up a ‘buhl’ manufactory off Edgeware Road. The Prince Regent patronised both Le Gaigneur and Oakley.

    Other leading exponents of brass marquetry decoration included Thomas Parker, Town and Emmanuel and Robert Blake and George Bullock. Undoubtedly other fashionable cabinet-makers followed the trend and the Creedy Park Suite supplied by the London cabinet-maker John Wellsman to Sir John Davie, 9th Bt. (1798-1824) for the Drawing Room at Creedy Park at considerable expense, uses engraved brass marquetry of high quality to considerable effect for the decoration of the border and of the tops and the columns on a variety of table furniture (the suite sold Sotheby’s London, 7 November 1997, lots 87-91).
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