A George III mahogany secretaire linen presspossibly attributable to Thomas Chippendale
Lot 58
A George III mahogany secretaire linen presspossibly attributable to Thomas Chippendale
Sold for £5,000 (US$ 7,809) inc. premium

Lot Details
A George III mahogany secretaire linen presspossibly attributable to Thomas Chippendale
A George III mahogany secretaire linen press
possibly attributable to Thomas Chippendale
The moulded cornice above a pair of panelled doors enclosing four trays, the base with a fitted secretaire drawer enclosing satinwood and tulipwood crossbanded drawers, pigeonholes and secret compartments with a green baize lined writing surface, above two further drawers, on bracket feet, with a paper label to the top, Beddington/Anstey/Buntingford/Herts' , 138cm wide, 63cm deep, 198.5cm high (54" wide, 24.5" deep, 78" high).

Footnotes

  • Features of this secretaire that suggest Thomas Chippendale as the likely maker include the thin red wash and the metalwork.

    Red Wash

    The thin red wash appeared on a number of pieces of mahogany furniture at Dumfries House, Ayrshire, which were attributed to 'The Dumfries House Cabinet-Maker' - possibly Thomas Chippendale (included in the Dumfries House Christie's sale catalogue, 12-13 July 2007, among them lots 106, 236, 251 and 252). Rufus Bird highlights each of the chests examined have a distinctive 'thin red wash' painted on the underside and sometimes on the backboard, similar to the lot offered here (Bird, R. Ibid, Volume II, p.9). The wash is seen on many lesser pieces of Chippendale furniture in the house and also on the magnificent padouk bookcase. At Nostell Priory Chippendale wrote to Sir Ronald Winn in August 1767 regarding 'the bottle of red stain for the meddal case' and instructed him to apply the stain two or three times to ensure depth of colour (Royton, L. and Goodison, N., Thomas Chippendale at Nostell Priory, Furniture History, 1968, p.21)

    S-pattern keyhole

    The distinctive S-pattern keyhole is a feature used nearly exclusively by Thomas Chippendale, although only occasionally recorded on furniture by his competitor John Cobb. According to Gilbert it was noted that a number of documented cabinet pieces by Chippendale are fitted with S-shaped key-hole openings. The S-shaped keyholes appear most notably on the bookcases supplied by Chippendale around 1772 to Sir Penistone Lamb for the Library at Brocket Hall (Christopher Gilbert, The Life and Work of Thomas Chippendale, 1978, vol. II, figs. 77, 80 and 267). In his 1768 account to Lady Shelburne, Chippendale mentioned that a commode table had 'very good spring and tumbler locks and S-bitted keys', as Gilbert remarks, this hardly justifies talk of a special 'Chippendale keyhole' it confirms he employed the pattern' (C. Gilbert, The Life and Work of Thomas Chippendale, vol. I, p.253). A serpentine chest attributed to Chippendale sold anonymously, Christie's, London, 25 November 2004, lot 79 featured 'S-pattern' keyholes, which were favoured by Chippendale and were a speciality of the Gascoigne family of St. James's. This lock pattern has very occasionally been recorded on furniture attributed to Chippendale's competitor John Cobb, for example on the commode sold anonymously, Christie's, New York, 19 April 2001, lot 148. However, nearly all occurrences are on furniture attributed to Chippendale.
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