Brass inlaid tripod table
Lot 21
A George II mahogany and brass inlaid Supper Table in the manner of Frederick Hintz
£2,500 - 3,500
US$ 4,300 - 6,000
Lot Details
Fine English Furniture & Works of Art
A George II mahogany and brass inlaid Supper Table
in the manner of Frederick Hintz
the dished octofoil shaped tilt-top on a turned shaft on cabriole legs and pad feet54cm diameter, 70cm high, (21" diameter, 27.5" high).

Footnotes

  • These mahogany tripod tables with their tip-up tops, shallow dished circles and brass inlay form part of a small but distinctive group of similarly shaped tables. All the tables are similarly constructed, and the brass inlay consists of fine stringing to the edges, and engraved brass shells and other motifs, the stems are generally baluster turned, fluted, or with gadrooned collars. Formerly thought to have been supper tables, the size of the circular sinkings suggests they were more likely to have been made for tea plates or perhaps cups and saucers. At the time of the exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum, John Channon and brass-inlaid furniture, 1730-1760 (1993), only 34 had come to light.

    The authorship of these tables is usually ascribed to the German émigré cabinet maker, Frederick Hintz (1711-1772). Interestingly it was the photograph of lot 96, published in Country Life in December 1944, which prompted the furniture historian Robert Wemyss Symonds to write in to the magazine making the connection with Hintz (see Country Life, 9 March 1945, p.418). Symonds quoted from the now famous advertisement he had uncovered in an edition of the Daily Post of 22nd May 1738:

    To be SOLD
    At the Porcupine in Newport Street, near
    Leicester-Fields
    A Choice Parcel of Desk and Book-cases
    of Mahogany, Tea-Tables. Tea-Chests and Tea-
    Boards, etc., all curiously made and inlaid with
    fine Figures of Brass and Mother of Pearl. They
    will be sold at a very reasonable Rate, the Maker
    Frederick Hints, designing soon to go abroad.


    At the time of Symond’s assertion, very little was known about Hintz, however research has now shown that he was born in 1711 in Stettin, a town in former East Germany. By 1737 he was living in London and was an active member of the Moravian Church, a Protestant religious movement that grew in Germany and England during the mid 18th century and comprised communities of craftsmen working under the umbrella of the church. Recent research has also uncovered the fact that Hintz set off for Germany on 13 June 1738 with Abraham Roentgen (with whom he had a close professional relationship) and John Wesley, thus accounting for the fact he was advertising his imminent departure in the May of that year. By 1748 Hintz was back in England and is recorded as making a harpsichord for the Moravian Chapel in Fetter Lane. Later references all mention him as a maker of musical instruments, suggesting a change in direction later on in his career.

    Unfortunately, despite the existence of labelled musical instruments by Hintz, no documented pieces of furniture by him have ever been recorded, and attributions have been based on stylistic analysis. However recently published research by Lanie Graf using the Moravian Church archives has uncovered a bill to Charles Henry de Larish for work completed by a John Frederick Hintz detailing two mahogany card tables, six mahogany chairs, two great armchairs and two great looking glasses (cf. L.E. Graf, Moravians in London: A case study in furniture making c.1735-1765, Furniture History, vol. XL, 2004, p.15).

    Other examples which have recently sold at auction include Phillips, London, 10 February 1998, lot 78; Sotheby’s New York, 26 May 2000 lot 196 and another Christie’s, New York, 16 April 2002, lot 249.
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