ART HISTORY - LUKE FOREMAN and THE EMPIRE STYLE
Lot 8
ART HISTORY - LUKE FOREMAN and THE EMPIRE STYLE
Sold for £ 6,600 (US$ 8,548) inc. premium

Lot Details
ART HISTORY - LUKE FOREMAN and THE EMPIRE STYLE
Papers of Luke Foreman, his wife Mary and other member of their family, comprising:

(i) Inventory kept by Foreman's widow Mary of the contents and furnishings of her residences at Harley Street and Farnborough Hill, including detailed listings of "Picture & Drawings, bought at Sundry places by L:F: since the year 1795" (with notes of where and for how much they were brought, mostly either on the Continent or through auction and with further, sometimes anecdotal, comments: "all these 6 pictures of much value; L.F. bought them by degrees, always saying, 'He never would have in his Drawing Room, any, but Capital Pictures.' at the same time, alledging that the price for a picture was always a Secret"), with comments on the decoration of each room (for example: "Mrs F. Bedroom called 'The Grecian' or Blue Chamber/ Contents & Cost/ The Bedstead of Grecian form painted in Airwood & black, The Furniture a Quaker brown water'd morine; border'd with black & blue velvet with rick silk fringe & bullion tassells, a handsome day Quilt to suit & bedding all good & complete"), and individual pieces of furniture (such as "an Antique or Grecian Couch with Crocodile legs"), nearly 100 pages, plus many blanks, black morocco gilt, covers stamped with her initials 'M.F.', spine stamped 'Catalogue', silver clasp, slight scuffing, oblong folio, 1820

(ii) Notebook of expenses kept by Luke Foreman while touring the Continent between 1802 and 1804, listing both works of art purchased ("...Harp Clock from Cavais 1000 livres... Pisani for Sculpture some in full & some in advance in Acc 106 Seq & 10 piasters... Pomardi for 2 drawings on Vellum & some on paper -- 44 Sequins..."), gallery admission costs and everyday expenses, over 30 pages, floral print wrappers, 4to, 1802-1804

(iii) Album, containing correspondence and bills, including invoices from the 1750s pertaining the the Foreman family's Lisbon shipping business, including letters about the Earthquake of 1755, from his kinsman John Fothergill of Boulton & Fothergill, Birmingham ("Being settled in this place in partnership w.th Matthew Boulton Esq.r", who in 1777 invoices him for "5 pairs plated Bottle Stands"), shipping invoices for oranges, wine, cloth etc.; plus numerous engraved headed bills (mostly cut down), including a woodcut handbill of John Higginbotham fishing-rod maker, an invoice from Phillips's Auction Room, New Bond Street (lots 130 and 131, a worktable and pianoforte, sale 451, 16 November 1804), and other pieces of ephemera such as receipts for stamp duty, from British Society for the Encouragement of Good Servants (1793), etc., in a late 19th century scrapbook, 4to

(iv) Two invoices submitted to Luke Foreman's widow Mary, the first by 'G. Morant Ornamental Painter & Paper-hanging Manufacturer' for work "Done at the Cottage Farnboro" in April 1822 ("...Preparing and painting to imitate Porphyry, a Slab for the dining room, varnishing & polishing ditto..."), the second by William Adbury, for carpentry and building work, 5 pages, Morant's bill with engraved heading, split, folio, 1822

(v) "Pedigree of Foreman", comprising notes and anecdotes on the family, notebook, partly disbound, small 4to, late 19th century

Footnotes

  • RECORDS OF A NOTABLE COLLECTION IN THE EMPIRE TASTE: Luke Foreman, of 65 Harley Street and Farnborough Hill, made his fortune through the family's Portuguese shipping business. He acquired much of this collection when travelling on the Continent with his wife Mary in 1802-1804, while many of his pictures and other pieces were bought at auction. He died in 1814, but his widow Mary survived until 1834. It was she who employed the well-known decorator George Morant of New Bond Street to fit out the 'Cottage' or 'Pavilion' attached to Farnborough Hill. This was to remain intact until the 1930s: for a full account, see Ralph Edwards, 'Mr Luke Foreman and the Empire Style: A collection formed between 1795 and 1820', in Country Life, 10 May 1930, pp.694-697.
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