A George III mahogany pedestal partner's deskin the manner of Thomas Chippendale
Lot 59
A George III mahogany pedestal partner's deskin the manner of Thomas Chippendale
Sold for £34,850 (US$ 54,142) inc. premium

Lot Details
A George III mahogany pedestal partner's desk
in the manner of Thomas Chippendale
The green leather Greek key tooled inset top, with leaf moulded edge, above a central drawer with a green leather inset writing slide with ratcheted central section (lacking supports), concealing compartments beneath, flanked by four drawers to each pedestal, the top left hand drawer with divided interior, opposed by three simulated drawers and cupboards to each pedestal enclosing shelves, on stiff leaf moulded plinths and concealed castors, the sides with bead and reel framed panels, 175cm wide, 81cm deep, 81.5cm high (68.5" wide, 31.5" deep, 32" high).

Footnotes

  • Provenance: this desk belonged to Murray Adams Acton (1886-1972), the noted English historian of art, architect and dealer. Murray Adams Acton was the son of John Adams (-Acton)(1831-1910), the famous sculptor and Jeanie Hering, the authoress and playwright, and he was the godson of the Prime Minister W. E. Gladstone. Murray Adams Acton exhibited at the Royal Academy and the Paris Salon and in 1926 he was awarded a medal by the Société des Artistes Français for his architectural designs. He worked for Sir Charles Allom at White, Allom and Co. and was responsible for the design of the Burmese Pavillion at the British Empire Exhibition in 1923. He was a regular contributor on classical and medieval antiquities to the Apollo and Connoisseur magazines and secured many important collections for the Victoria and Albert Museum and for Sir William Burrell. He wrote Domestic Architecture and Old Furniture and had a showroom in Bruton Street, London. From his shop he sold works of art to notable clients including Her Majesty Queen Mary.

    Aspects of the cabinet-work on the present desk parallel those found on Chippendale's furniture at Dumfries House, Ayrshire, such as the red wash to the underside of the pedestals and the laminated blocking of the bracket feet (see Christies proposed contents sale of Dumfries House, 12-13 July 2007, p. 10 figs 12 and 13 and lots 40 and 236). It is significant that the red wash appears on many of the pieces at Dumfries House supplied by Chippendale and not on those pieces known to have been sourced from other cabinet-makers. A further idiosyncrasy on the desk here which is associated with Chippendale's workshop is the use of brass castors with friction rollers similar to those exhibited on a library table by Chippendale, made for Harewood House circa 1771, illustrated in Christopher Gilbert, The Life and Works of Thomas Chippendale, 1978, p. 147, pl. 442. The handles on the offered lot (possibly the original) also closely compare with those on a Chippendale commode supplied for Goldsborough Hall circa 1770 illustrated in Gilbert op. cit. p. 147, pl. 270.
Auction information

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Contacts
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