A Charles II white japanned cabinet on carved silvered stand
Lot 230
A Charles II white japanned cabinet on carved silvered stand
Sold for £22,500 (US$ 35,315) inc. premium

Lot Details
A Charles II white japanned cabinet on carved silvered stand
Fine English Furniture, Sculpture & Works of Art
A Charles II white japanned cabinet on carved silvered stand
Heightened with gilt chinoiseries and decorated with a limited green, brown and red palette, with gilt brass engraved shaped clasps and hinges, the rectangular top above a pair of cabinet doors enclosing eleven drawers, the stand with leaf carved moulding, with central carved Roman centurian on the scrolling acanthus and flowerhead carved apron, flanked by putti on 'S' scroll nymph and acanthus carved legs and scroll feet, elements visible of an earlier gilded scheme under the silvered stand, 92cm wide, 55cm deep, 161cm high (36in wide, 21 1/2in deep, 63in high).

Footnotes

  • Provenance:
    Lt-Gen Sir John Saunders Sebright, 6th Baronet, (1725-1794) and thence by descent at Beechwood Park, Flamstead, Hertfordshire.

    Literature: 'An Inventory of the Household Goods, Linnen and China of Sir Thomas Seabright Bart. Deceased at his Late Seat at Beechwood near Market Street in Hertfordshire taken Valued and Appraised, 25th June 1736' presumably the cabinet recorded in the Velvet Bed Chamber as 'An India Cabinet', (Hertford Records Office ref: 63793)
    Photographed in-situ in the Drawing Room at Beechwood Park, Country Life, November 1938.
    T.Rowe, The Beechwood Companion, The Story of a House and its People, Hertfordshire, 2006, p.29 (illustrated).

    The above lot forms part of a relatively small group of 17th century white japanned cabinets which are considered to be rarer than examples in black, red, green and blue. A very closely related cabinet to that offered here, with identical mounting, drawer configuration and similar elements to the decoration and which seems likely to have originated in the same workshop was offered Christie's London, 3 July 1997, lot 46. The Christie's cabinet was formerly on loan at Claydon House, Buckinghamshire (1960-1996).

    A white japanned cabinet formerly at Witcombe Park and thought to have been acquired by Sir Michael Hicks (d.1710) was acquired by the Holbourne Museum, Bath in 2006 and is supported on a William and Mary carved silvered stand but also with a cresting. A cabinet formerly in the collection of Mrs Dorothy Hart and illustrated in R.W Symonds, English Furniture and Clocks, London, 1940, fig.52 and pl.VI shows a slightly different palette and handling and relates more closely to the pair of japanned cabinets on stands attributed to James Moore at Boughton House, Northamptonshire and illustrated in T.Murdoch, Boughton House: The English Versailles, London 1992, pl.80. These cabinets fall into a group of cabinets that have tentatively been ascribed to Gerard Dagley (d.1714) who was working in Berlin and Holland, see M.Jarry, Chinoiseries, Paris 1981, p.156, pl.166 and p.137, pl.142.

    The lacquered objects and screens brought back to Europe by the East India Company in the late 17th century created a demand for larger, more practical objects which shared the same highly colourful and decorative surfaces of their Eastern counterparts. In order to try and recreate the rich and highly finished effect of oriental lacquer work, European cabinet makers turned to John Stalker and George Parker's 1688 Treatise of Japanning and Varnishing which soon became a key reference work, since it contained not only recipes for producing the various different colours but also patterns of Chinese figures, plants and gardens which could be adapted as necessary. European 'Japanning' was popular until the end of the eighteenth century, and was often used in bedroom apartments in the decoration of mirrors on stands and various cabinets such as the present example.
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