A William & Mary black japanned Bureau Cabinet

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Lot 1
A William & Mary black japanned Bureau Cabinet

£ 10,000 - 15,000
US$ 13,000 - 19,000
A William & Mary black japanned Bureau Cabinet
heightened with gilt chinoiseries, the rectangular ogee moulded cornice above a pair of arched bevelled mirrored doors enclosing three shelves, above a pair of candleslides and a sloping fall enclosing a later leather lined fall, decorated with fishermen in a river landscape beside a village; enclosing twelve pigeonholes and a sliding well enclosing two secret drawers, above two short and two long similarly decorated graduated drawers, the sides with exotic birds, trees and houses, on later bun feet, decoration refreshed, interior doors redecorated, 99cm wide, 56cm deep, 202cm high (38.5in wide, 22in deep, 79.5in high).

Footnotes

  • Provenance: private collection, Cadogan Square, London.

    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 bureau cabinets such as the present example. A number of leading English cabinet-makers of the late 17th and early 18th century are recorded as supplying cabinet pieces decorated with japanning. Although the attribution of cabinets of this type to known makers is notoriously difficult,
A William & Mary black japanned Bureau Cabinet
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