A good George III rosewood secretaire bookcase, circa 1790, attributed to Seddon (see Sotheby's sale Mr Fox offered with an estimate of £80,000-100,000)
Lot 117Y
A good George III rosewood, satinwood sycamore and tulipwood banded polychrome decorated secretaire bookcase attributed to Seddon, Son and Shackleton based on a design by Thomas Sheraton
Sold for £32,450 (US$ 52,990) inc. premium

Lot Details
A good George III rosewood secretaire bookcase, circa 1790, attributed to Seddon (see Sotheby's sale Mr Fox offered with an estimate of £80,000-100,000)
A good George III rosewood, satinwood sycamore and tulipwood banded polychrome decorated secretaire bookcase attributed to Seddon, Son and Shackleton
based on a design by Thomas Sheraton
The upper part with a removeable arched pediment decorated with a trophy emblematic of learning and swagged pearl chains and flanked by later turn urn finials above a pair of astragal glazed doors enclosing adjustable shelves, the lower part with a rectangular top and slightly projecting front corners above a twin panelled secretaire drawer decorated with oval pearl bordered medallions depicting floral baskets and enclosing a fitted interior with a later baize lined writing surface, seven pigeon holes and six various drawers, one fitted with aperture for inkwells with a white metal topped inkwell above a pair of panel doors decorated with oval ivy wreath medallions with pearl borders enclosing an adjustable shelf, on square section tapering gaitered feet, 86cm wide, 44.5cm deep, 206cm high (33.5" wide, 17.5" deep, 81" high).

Footnotes

  • Provenance: offered Sotheby's London, 18 November 1994, lot 141.

    A closely related satinwood and rosewood secretaire bookcase with the same use of pearl chains and the lotus decorated cornice was sold Christie's London, 2 May 2002, lot 188.

    The pattern for this bookcase relates to a design by Thomas Sheraton for a Secretary and Bookcase, published as pl.XXVIII in The Cabinet-Maker and Upholsterer's Drawing-Book, 1793.

    The secretaire bookcase offered here relates closely to and may possibly be part of the same suite as a late George III rosewood, polychrome decorated commode formerly in the collection of the esteemed collector J.S Sykes of Grosvenor Square and sold by his grandson at Phillips, London, 12 June 2001, lot 74 (£40,000 hammer).

    The above lot utilizes sophisticated painted decoration associated with the firm of Seddon, Son & Shackleton. In around 1790 George Seddon took his son-in-law Thomas Shackleton into the business and they traded as Seddon Son and Shackleton from 150 Aldersgate Street where at times the firm employed over four hundred men. The firm adopted different names, depending on which family members were working for the business; they were styled Seddon, Son and Shackleton for only eight years, from 1790 until Thomas Shackleton (George Seddon's son-in-law) left to go into partnership with George Oakley in 1798. Painted furniture from the Seddon, Son and Shackleton period is known to have been a feature of the firm's output thanks to two surviving documented commissions, Hauteville House, St Peter Port, Guernsey (179*?) and Bridwell House, Dorset (1792-3). The Hauteville commission included a set of eighteen painted satinwood elbow chairs with three matching window seats (see 'A Catalogue and Index of old Furniture and Works of Decorative Art, Pt III', M. Harris and Sons, p.386-9, and the Bridwell commission, a satinwood card table and pair of Pembroke tables, see C.Gilbert and G.Beard The Dictionary of English Furniture Makers 1660-1840, 1986, pp.796-7. A satinwood marquetry and polychrome decorated secretaire cabinet re-constructed from an important cabinet by Seddon, Son & Shackleton reputedly for Charles IV of Spain with panels attributed to William Hamilton R.A was sold Bonhams, London 7 March 2012, lot 133. It is difficult to piece together a picture of the Seddon house style in the 18th century as few labelled or documented pieces are known. It was remarked by Sophie von La Roche during her visit to Seddon's showroom in 1786, that Seddon was, 'constantly devising new forms'. Christopher Gilbert discusses the firms output in the manifestation of Seddon, Sons & Shackleton in his article for Furniture History, London, 1997, pp.1-29.






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