A George III rosewood, satinwood, fiddleback mahogany and marquetry Pembroke Table attributed to Chr
Lot 39
A George III rosewood, satinwood, fiddleback mahogany and marquetry Pembroke Table attributed to Christopher Fuhrlohg
Sold for £12,000 (US$ 18,909) inc. premium

Lot Details
A George III rosewood, satinwood, fiddleback mahogany and marquetry Pembroke Table attributed to Chr
A George III rosewood, satinwood, fiddleback mahogany and marquetry Pembroke Table attributed to Christopher Fuhrlohg
inlaid with boxwood and ebony lines, the crossbanded rosewood 'butterfly' top with a central satinwood oval medallion inlaid with flowers, flanked by foliage issuing from rams' head mounted urns with paterae to the corners, above two opposing frieze drawers, on cabriole legs veneered to their outer face in rosewood and to their inner face in satinwood, 74cm wide, 52.5cm deep, 71.5cm high (29" wide, 20.5" deep, 28" high).

Footnotes

  • Provenance: purchased under the guidance of the furniture historian Herbert Cescinsky in the 1920s and thence by family descent.

    A cabriole-legged card table with a frieze drawer inlaid with identical scrolling acanthus and flowerheads on the same ground veneer was sold Christie’s, London, 8 July 1993, lot 34. Its serpentine top also featured a floral spray in its central medallion and round flowerhead paterae to its corners. That table was tentatively attributed to the Paris-trained Swedish cabinet-maker Christopher Fuhrlohg on the basis of its similarity to the floral medallion and arabesque inlay on a square piano almost certainly by Fuhrlohg in the collection of the Lady Lever Art Gallery (illustrated in ‘Lord Leverhulme’, Exhibition Catalogue, Royal Academy of Arts, London, 1980, p.114, no. 117; also illustrated in Lucy Wood, The Lady Lever Art Gallery Catalogue of Commodes, London, 1994, catalogue no. 10, pp. 115-122). The Fuhrlohg attribution of the present table is strengthened by a piece of marquetry absent from the Christie’s table: the low, wide Adam-esque urns with triple ram’s head handles. This motif – highly unusual in having an extra ram’s head to the centre of the urn - was used by Fuhrlohg on the top of an English bureau plat at Alnwick Castle (illustrated in Wood, op. cit., p.121, figs. 116-117), on a commode once in the collection of the Earls Temple (illustrated in Wood, op. cit. , p.111, fig. 107), and also on the case of a piano, co-made with Frederick Beck in 1777, formerly in the Leverhulme collection and now in a private collection (illustrated in Wood, op. cit., p. 120, figs. 114-115, and in R. Edwards, The Shorter Dictionary of English Furniture, London, 1964, p.390, fig. 12, and offered Christie's New York, Important English Furniture, 18 October 2001, lot 345). The frieze treatment on Beck/Fuhrlohg piano is also apparently identical to the present table. The same ram's head handled urn appears on an English commode by an émigré maker in the Louis XV/XVI transitional taste, sold Christie's, London, 4 April 1974, and Sotheby’s, London, 10 July 1987, lot 69 (illustrated in Wood, op. cit., p. 146, fig. 145, and attributed to Fuhrlohg by her). It too has a marquetry frieze very similar to the present table’s.

    Other Fuhrlohg or Furhlohg circle characteristics (he worked within a tight knit group of inter-related Swedish émigrés) include the idiosyncratic use of different grounds to veneer the backs and fronts of the legs, seen for instance on the Furhlohg commode in the Lady Lever collection (Wood, op. cit., catalogue no. 9, p.107) where a tulipwood ground extends down most of the front legs but part of the inside face of the front legs and all of the inside face of the back legs is veneered in padouk.

    Christopher Fuhrlohg (born about 1740 – died after 1787) arrived in London from Paris around 1766. He worked first for John Linnell in Berkeley Square before setting up by himself nearby. His clients included the Prince of Wales and Lord Howard of Audley End. Along with Pierre Langlois and George Haupt he helped make the Parisian taste for marquetry fashionable in London.

    This piece has remained until now in the same family since the 1920s. At that time the family approached Herbert Cescinsky to help them form a collection of walnut, carved mahogany, and satinwood furniture. Cescinsky, the author of a string of books on the subject, is one of English furniture’s most distinguished early authorities. He rivalled R.W. Symonds in his ability to source the best examples of each period.
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