A pair of Regency rosewood Side Tables, with Vizagapatam and padouk? marquetry tops Gillow?
Lot 123Y
A pair of Regency rosewood Side Tables, with Vizagapatam ivory and padouk marquetry tops attributed to Gillows
Sold for £38,400 (US$ 63,727) inc. premium
Lot Details
A pair of Regency rosewood Side Tables, with Vizagapatam ivory and padouk marquetry tops
attributed to Gillows
the rounded rectangular tops crossbanded in ivory floral marquetry borders above a pair of drawers with opposing simulated drawers with stellar handles above scrolling pierced lyre ends joined by shaped stretchers on downswept legs and stiff leaf gilt bronze cappings and castors, one leg replaced, each with a label to the underside, 'Hon Mrs Egerton's Trust', the tops contemporary with the bases, but probably originally conceived in India as panelled doors, each, 74cm wide, 38cm deep, 76cm high (29" wide, 14.5" deep, 29.5" high). (2)

Footnotes

  • Provenance: The Hon Mrs Egerton’s Trust – presumably the trust set up by The Right Honourable Anna Louisa, Baroness Egerton of Tatton (1843-1933) to provide income for her younger unmarried sister Victoria Watson-Taylor (b.1861)
    Possibly commissioned by William Tatton Egerton, Baron Egerton of Tatton (1806-1883) and thence by descent to his son:
    Alan de Tatton Egerton (1845-1920) and thence by descent to his wife
    The Right Honourable Anna Louisa Egerton and disposed of by her trust.
    Acquired by Captain Jack William Leslie Crawshay (b.1894) and thence by descent to his wife:
    The Hon Mrs Harriette Crawshay who gifted them to the present vendor.


    Anna Louisa Egerton of Tatton (nee Watson Taylor) the ‘Hon Mrs Egerton’ seemingly referred to on the labels was the eldest of the daughters of Simon Watson Taylor (1811-1902), who lived at Erlestoke Park, Wiltshire. Some of the furniture at Erlestoke was commissioned by George Watson Taylor (1770-1840), one of the greatest connoisseur-collectors of the early 19th Century. George Watson Taylor (1771-1840), came into a vast fortune via his wife's inheritance in 1815, supplementing his own income from his family's sugar plantations in Jamaica, and allowing him to embark on a successful political career, while at the same time spending lavishly on art and entertaining. In 1816, Watson Taylor purchased a townhouse in Cavendish Square. This and his country house at Erlestoke Park in Wiltshire were decorated in the most splendid French style fashionable at that period. Sadly, a decline in his fortunes saw the gradual dispersal of his collections, culminating in a 3,572 lot auction sale (9th July-1st August 1832) of the contents of Erlestoke. The Watson-Taylors moved away but in 1844, however, Simon Watson-Taylor returned and remained at Erlestoke until his death in 1902. Although a trust was set up to provide for his children it seems that Anna Louisa, being married to the wealthy Alan de Tatton Egerton, was not a beneficiary of the trust.


    The Egertons were amongst the best known patrons of the Gillows firm and it seems likely that the tables, with their strong stylistic attribution to the firm would undoubtedly have been commissioned for either Tatton Park, Heaton Hall or for the Egerton’s London town house. Tatton Park was furnished with over two hundred pieces of Gillows furniture, a large portion of which remains at the mansion, left by Anna Louisa Egerton’s son Maurice Egerton, to The National Trust on his death in 1958. Heaton Hall was also extensively furnished by Gillows. The Egerton’s sold Heaton which was purchased by the Council and opened to the public in 1902. Unfortunately, the council was not prepared to purchase the contents of the hall and so the furniture and paintings were auctioned off in two sales in 1902 and 1906. The 1902 sale was conducted by Artingstall and Hind, in conjunction with Walter Brierley (a local firm of auctioneers) and the furniture was sold. The 1906 sale was conducted solely by Walter Brierley.


    After the death of her husband in 1920, and her son Maurice assuming the title of Baron Egerton of Tatton, Anna Louisa left Tatton and based herself in London living at 4 South Street and later at 17 Curzon Street. On her death in 1933, her will revealed that she made numerous bequests principally of jewellery and several specific pieces of furniture including items of the Watson Taylor furniture, a writing desk given to her by Alfred de Rothchild and a large cabinet for China that she had brought from Charles Davis of Bond Street. She expressed a wish for the remainder of her estate to be disposed of and a Trust set up to provide income for her younger unmarried sister Victoria Watson Taylor and in the event of Victoria’s death to provide income for her god-daughters Gillian Hansard, Joan Dixie and Doreen Dunn.


    The Tables

    The tops used for the above lot were made in Vizagapatam, a port on the northern part of the Coromandel Coast in India, not far from Madras, and were probably originally conceived as doors for a cabinet. Since the 17th century the area had been a centre for the manufacture of dyed cottons which attracted European traders including the Dutch - who established a trading post at Bimlipatam to the north in 1628 - and the English, whose textile factory was founded at Vizagapatam in 1668. A hundred years later the whole region came under the control of the East India Company at which time it had become famous for its production of ivory inlaid goods. As foreign trade grew during the second half of the eighteenth century, cabinet makers began to produce ivory inlaid furniture after European designs, which specifically catered to the overseas market. The deep foliate borders and central design are based on motifs taken from local textiles. See A.Jaffer, Furniture from British India and Ceylon, London 2001, pps. 172-204.


    The attribution to Gillows is based on a pair of metamorphic sofa/games tables with Grecian-lyre trestles and sunburst handles commissioned by Thomas Anson, 1st Viscount Anson (1767-1818) for the library at Shugborough, Staffordshire in the early 19th century. See Christie's, London, Important English Furniture, 2 May 2002, lot 32. The Shugborough table has been traditionally attributed to Gillows on the grounds of their close ties with the Wyatt dynasty of architects who carried out the alterations at the house.


    See also a 'fine and rare Regency gilt-brass-mounted lacquer, calamander and fruitwood writing table attributed to Gillows', circa 1810, sold Sotheby's New York, 26 April 2008, lot 157. This table noted to be unusual because of its inset Chinese black and parcel gilt lacquer top, presumably an imported top as in the Vizagapatam tops used here. The attribution to Gillows was again used on stylistic grounds and with the Shugborough reference, but draws another comparable to an octagonal work table at Tatton Park, supplied to Wibraham Egerton (1781-1856).


    Similar box castors with foliate clasps, often used by Gillows are illustrated, N.Goodison, The Victoria and Albert Museum's Collection of Metal-Work Pattern Books, Furniture History, Vol.XI, 1975, fig.54.
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