A fine Regency rosewood and crossbanded, ebony and brass inlaid and mounted parcel gilt library table the design attributed to Thomas Hope, the manufacture attributed to George Oakley
Lot 121
A fine Regency rosewood and crossbanded, ebony and brass inlaid and mounted parcel gilt library table the design attributed to Thomas Hope, the manufacture attributed to George Oakley
Sold for £264,000 (US$ 427,744) inc. premium

Lot Details
A fine Regency rosewood and crossbanded, ebony and brass inlaid and mounted parcel gilt library table the design attributed to Thomas Hope, the manufacture attributed to George Oakley A fine Regency rosewood and crossbanded, ebony and brass inlaid and mounted parcel gilt library table the design attributed to Thomas Hope, the manufacture attributed to George Oakley A fine Regency rosewood and crossbanded, ebony and brass inlaid and mounted parcel gilt library table the design attributed to Thomas Hope, the manufacture attributed to George Oakley A fine Regency rosewood and crossbanded, ebony and brass inlaid and mounted parcel gilt library table the design attributed to Thomas Hope, the manufacture attributed to George Oakley A fine Regency rosewood and crossbanded
A fine Regency rosewood and crossbanded, ebony and brass inlaid and mounted parcel gilt library table
the design attributed to Thomas Hope, the manufacture attributed to George Oakley
Applied with gilt bronze mounts, the rectangular top inlaid with an ebony band with stylised leaf brass marquetry, above a pair of frieze drawers flanked by anthemion mounts and centred by a cabochon and leaf mount, with a simulated opposing arrangement of drawers, the curved end supports applied with Perseus masks flanked by parcel gilt eagle heads joined by a scrolling gilt leaf carved cross stretcher, on platform bases with lotus scroll feet and castors, 133cm wide, 66cm deep, 74cm high (52" wide, 25.5" deep, 29" high).

Footnotes

  • Provenance: Probably acquired for Tyrone House, Co. Galway by Christopher French St.George (1754-1826) and by descent to his son
    Arthur French St. George (1780-1844) and by descent to his son
    Christopher St.George (1810-1877) and by descent to his wife:
    Honoria Kane St George (d.1905) and by descent to her daughter:
    Josephine Browne.

    Tyrone House, Co. Galway, now a ruined shell after a fire in 1920, was built in 1779 for Christopher St. George and designed by the celebrated Waterford architect John Roberts (1712-1796). The estate had originally been a French estate but the family assumed the name St.George in 1774 after inheriting the from the St.George family of Hately Manor, Co. Leitrim. The mansion was built in the Palladian style and set on an ocean promontory exploiting the ocean views and dominating the surrounding landscape. The house was decorated in considerable style and the entrance hall with it's Adamesque plasterwork ceilings was dominated by a life size white marble sculpture of the 2nd Lord St. George wearing the regalia of a Roman Emperor. Christopher St.George enjoyed the house for about twenty years before handing it over to his son. During the 1820's Arthur French St George occupied both Tyrone House and Kilcolgan Castle. Christopher St. George's son and grandson were both men of fashion but by the early 20th century portions of the estate had been sold off and the house left unoccupied for long periods. At the death of Honoria Kane St George in 1905, the family was based between Dublin and America. The contents of the house, paintings, silver and furniture were dispersed amongst the family. The house was burnt by the IRA in 1921 as it was believed to be a base for the Black and Tan Army. The ruin of Tyrone House was acquired by the Irish Georgian Society in 1972 and remains a local landmark sitting opposite the St.George family mausoleum which inspired John Betjeman to write in Ireland with Emily:
    'There in pinnacled protection,
    One extinguished family waits
    A Church of Ireland reserrection
    By the broken, rusty gates'


    Comparable Tables
    A closely related table thought to have been supplied by Thomas Hope to his brother Henry Philip Hope (1774-1839) for his house at 3 Seymour Place and attributed to George Oakley was sold Christie's, London 3 July 1997, Lot 60 (sold £221,500). The Christie's table is thought to have been acquired with the 3 Seymour Place when the property was sold in the second quarter of the 19th century. The table is illustrated in Watkin and Hewatt-Jaboor, Thomas Hope, Regency Designer, p.65, fig.4-10, London 2008.
    Another closely related table in calamander and without the masks to the end supports, formerly with the London dealer Temple Williams, is illustrated in F.Collard, Regency Furniture, Suffolk 1985, p.318 and in M.Jourdain, Regency Furniture, rev.edn, London, 1965, p.64, fig.128. This table has been sold at auction in London on three occasions over the last forty years, Christie's London, 25 May 1972, lot 78 and again Christie's London, 25 Nov, 1976, lot 73 and again Christie's London, 6 July 1989, lot 95.

    The Design
    The 'antique' design of the above lot reflects the French influence that was to dominate in the Regency period was popularised by Percier and Fontaine's Recueil de Décorations Intérieures (1812) which showed the grandeur of the Imperial palaces. In the same year Rudolf Ackerman also showed in colour French style furniture in four number of his magazine. This look was promoted by the connoisseur and designer Thomas Hope in the furnishing of his house on Duchess Street. It was an Empire style that matched the mood, which followed the abdication of Napoleon and the restoration of Louis XVIII. The look was to attract the attention of the Prince Regent amongst others and in particular the work of A.C Boulle was popularised in London by Louis Le Gaigneur who opened up a 'buhl' manufactory off Edgware Road. The Prince Regency patronised both Le Gaigneur and Oakley.
    The trestle ends of the above table seem to originate from Hope's published design in his Household Furniture and Interior Decoration, 1807 (pl.12, no.1 and 2). The table offered here makes further reference to the published design with the presence of the Perseus mask echoing that of the Juno mask. The original design employs lion's masks under the frieze although the recorded examples all feature ram's heads which were employed on the library chairs in Household Furniture, pl.22, no.5 and 6.
    A related design for 'a ladies Dressing Table to accompany a state bedchamber' was to appear the following year in George Smith's influential Household Furniture (1808) as plate 73. It was stated 'if made in mahogany, (this design) may have all the ornamental parts carved in lime-tree and bronzed, or carved in the mahogany with the rest of the table: should rose-wood be preferred, the whole of the ornaments should be finished in gold.'

    Peter Bogaert (1792-1819)
    It has been suggested that as the carved elements of these tables would almost certainly have been sub-contracted to a specialist carver that it may well have been the work of the Flemish carver Peter Bogaert (d.1819) of Tottenham Court Road who is known to have worked with Hope on furnishings for Duchess Street. Bogaert, like George Oakley was also patronised by George, Prince of Wales at Carlton House. Bogaert was considered by Hope as the only carver in London 'to whose industry and talent I could in some measure confide the execution of the more complicated and more enriched portion on my designs', see Household Furniture, ibid., p.10.

    George Oakley (1773-1840)
    The tentative attribution to Oakley relies on the known table of this pattern in calamander wood and brass marquetry of starred ribbon guilloche which corresponds to the marquetry on a circular drawing room table supplied by George Oakley in 1810 for Papworth Hall, Cambridgeshire.

    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 Christies London, 18 Nov 1993, lot 117). Other pieces from the Papwoth Hall commission include a set of quartetto tables sold Christies, London, 9 April 1992, lot 109 and a games table offered Phillips, London 11 February 1992, lot 83.
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