A George III mahogany, sycamore, satinwood and marquetry estate cabinet attributed to John Linnell
Lot 97
A George III mahogany, sycamore, satinwood and marquetry estate cabinet
attributed to John Linnell
£ 30,000 - 50,000
US$ 40,000 - 67,000

Lot Details
A George III mahogany, sycamore, satinwood and marquetry estate cabinet attributed to John Linnell A George III mahogany, sycamore, satinwood and marquetry estate cabinet attributed to John Linnell A George III mahogany, sycamore, satinwood and marquetry estate cabinet attributed to John Linnell
A George III mahogany, sycamore, satinwood and marquetry estate cabinet
attributed to John Linnell
The upper part with a moulded over-hanging fluted cornice above a stiff lotus leaf carved and swagged drapery marquetry frieze and a pair of panel doors enclosing twenty four pigeon holes each inlaid with a number or letter, the lower pair with a concave drawer and a rectangular moulded edge top above a frieze drawer decorated with running guilloche and rosette decoration and a pair of doors centred by a large circular roundel, enclosing four slides lined with marbled paper, on a plinth base, the reverse with an inventory label for JAS. BOWMAN & SONS, MONK BAR, YORK and printed '10', 104cm wide, 77cm deep, 221.5cm high (40.5in wide, 30in deep, 87in high).


  • Provenance: Castle Howard, Yorkshire.
    Probably supplied to Frederick Howard, 5th Earl of Carlisle
    (1748-1825) and thence by descent to:
    George Howard, 6th Earl of Carlisle
    (1773-1848) and thence by
    descent to:
    William George Howard, 8th Earl of Carlisle (1808-1889) and thence
    by descent to:
    George James Howard, 9th Earl of Carlisle (1843-1911) and thence by family descent until sold:
    Sotheby's contents sale, Castle Howard 11th-13th November 1991, lot 115 and 116

    This above map cabinet relates to a design by John Linnell in the collection of the V&A Museum and dated to around 1765 (E291 1929). A related bookcase also in the collection of the V&A Museum is illusrated by H.Hayward and P.Kirkham, William and John Linnell, London, 1980. fig.18. Frederick, 5th Earl of Carlisle was patron of John Linnell between 1777-1789.

    John Linnell's apprenticeship as a cabinet-maker was unusual; in addition to training with his father William's firm on Long Acre he also attended Hogarth's St Martin's Lane Academy where he studies drawing and design in an international, intellectual environment. John Linnell's artistic talent had an immediate impact upon the firm, when he joined his father full time in 1753, specialising in rococo design. Linnell's talent combined with his St Martin's Lane connections meant that, far in advance of most cabinet-makers, he was aware of Delafosse and experimenting with neo-classicism by 1760. His designs from this period show that Linnell was experimenting with the new style and the results were both novel and eclectic as he cast about for new combinations of form and ornament. By 1762 Linnell was working with Robert Adam at Kedleston Hall, followed by Osterley Park in 1767. Through his direct contact with Adam, the eclectic designs of Linnell were gradually replaced with an increasingly refined, pure neo-classicism that was fully established by 1775.

    Castle Howard and the Earls of Carlisle

    Sir Charles Howard (1629-1685) was created Baron Dacre of Gillesland in the County of Cumberland, Viscount Howard of Morpeth and Earl of Carlisle in 1660. Charles Howard was the great grandson of Lord William Howard (1563-1640), third son of Thomas Howard, 4th Duke of Norfolk (1536-1576). Through Lord William Howard's wife, Elizabeth, the family acquired both Naworth Castle and Henderskelfe in Yorkshire which was to become to known as Castle Howard.
    The original Castle at Henderskelfe which had stood for hundreds of years was seriously damaged by fire in 1693 when Charles Howard, 3rd Earl of Carlisle (1699-1738), asked the architect William Talman (1650-1719) who had previously worked at Chatsworth, to submit plans for a new house. The relationship was short lived and after disagreements between the two, Howard turned to the inexperienced John Vanbrugh (1664-1720). The flamboyant imagination of Vanbrugh was tempered by the practical involvement of Nicholas Hawksmoor who brought technical experience to the project. Vanbrugh's lack of formal training resulted in many of the conventions of country house building being disregarded ranging from the change in orientation of the house to exploit its setting to the scale of the dome and the extent of ornamentation. At Vanbrugh's death in 1726 the West Wing was still un-built, when completed, although it was a successful Palladian design it did little to compliment Vanbrugh's work at the house and the interiors were only completed by C.H Tatham in around 1800 with the wing being externally remodelled in the late 19th century to improve synchronicity with the rest of the building.

    During the 19th century Castle Howard was passed rather in-directly through the Howard family. George William Howard, 7th Earl of Carlisle (1802-1864) was succeeded by his brother the Rev.William George Howard, 8th Earl of Carlisle (1808-1889) who suffered from mental infirmity and his brother Admiral Edward Howard, Lord Lanerton lived at Castle Howard. After the death of the 8th Earl the title passed to a nephew of the two previous holders, George Howard, 9th Earl of Carlisle (1843-1911). George Howard moved in artistic circles and was himself a painter and associate of Burne-Jones and William Morris, as well as being a dedicated Liberal and member of the Temperance Movement. After the death of his wife Rosalind, Countess of Carlisle in 1921, the estates where divided by strict Liberal principles. Castle Howard was to go to The Hon. Mary Murray the couple's eldest daughter, as their eldest son had died in 1912 and had succeeded to Naworth Castle. Mary was not prepared to take on Castle Howard, and it was decided by the family that it should be granted to her brother the Hon. Geoffrey Howard (1877-1935) who was married to Ethel Methuen, the daughter of Paul Sandford, 3rd Baron Methuen. Geoffrey Howard began dispersing items from the Castle Howard Collection after succeeding to the house in the 1920s and this included the sale held by Boulton and Cooper of Malton in 1924 comprising 17th century oak furniture from the house. After the death of Geoffrey in 1935, the trustees assumed that the house would not be lived in again and started once again to disperse contents when George Howard returned from World War II. George Howard, later Lord Howard of Henderskelfe (1920-1984) was devoted to Castle Howard and alongside his wife did much to improve the house and secure its future. The house was opened into to the public in 1952. Property was also transferred between the families other properties which included Ampthill and Brackland in Surrey and 56 Park Street in Mayfair as well as Naworth Castle
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  1. Fine Furniture (UK)
    Auction administration - English Furniture and Works of Art
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