A Regency oak partner's pedestal desk attributed to George Bullock
Lot 165
A Regency oak partner's pedestal desk attributed to George Bullock
Sold for £42,000 (US$ 66,181) inc. premium

Lot Details
A Regency oak partner's pedestal desk
attributed to George Bullock
The rectangular moulded top with later central tooled green leather, flanked by raised panels, above a central drawer and a kneehole, flanked by two smaller drawers, with divisions, above a pair of panelled doors, the right side enclosing four short drawers, the left side a shelf, flanked by reeded uprights, the opposing side with a similar arrangement of cupboards, with panelled sides, on plinth bases, with castors, the central drawer reduced in depth, 212cm wide, 101cm deep, 79cm high (83" wide, 39.5" deep, 31" high).

Footnotes

  • Provenance: possibly supplied to James Archibald Stuart-Wortley-Mackenzie (1747-1818) or his son, James Stuart-Wortley-Mackenzie (1776-1845), later 1st Baron Wharncliffe (cr.1826), for Wortley Hall, Yorkshire, and by descent to The Late 4th Earl of Wharncliffe; Christie's, London, 10 April 2003, lot 100.
    Purchased from Harris Lindsay Ltd.

    It is not known if this desk was supplied to James Archibald Stuart-Wortley-Mackenzie or his second son James Archibald who in 1803 inherited the Scottish estates of his uncle , Rt. Hon. James Stuart Mackenzie and it may have been this event which sparked the commissioning of the desk.
    The above lot forms part of a group of four desks of this basic pattern which include; a desk formerly in the collection of Cecilia, Countess of Strathmore and Kinghorne and sold Christie's, 4 July 2002, lot 150; a desk formerly in the Sarofin Collection and another recorded in a private collection.
    A desk of this form in mahogany was amongst the furniture shown in the Library ground plan executed in 1815 by George Bullock for Napoleon's residence at New Longwood, St. Helena, and carried out under the direction of George, Prince Regent, later King George IV. The Emperor's desk was invoiced on 1 January 1816 as a 'Mahogany Library Table inlaid with Ebony with Cupboards at each end for Portfolio's and Drawers. 68.5s', see M. Levy, Napoleon in Exile, 1998, appendix 3, p.110.

    It seems possible that the source for the oak for the present library-table may have come from trees planted by the forebears of Scott of Buccleuch and purchased by Bullock following the death of Henry Montagu-Douglas-Scott, 3rd Duke of Buccleuch and 5th Duke of Queensberry (d. 1812). Sir Walter Scott noted that in his history of Bullock that Drumlanrig Castle's 'old and noble park ... certain very old oaks, which had grown for ages, and had at length become stag-headed and half-dead ... [He] had no hesitation in giving it as his opinion that the progress of the years had exactly brought these ancient oaks to the point of perfection when their timber would make the most excellent furniture'.

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