A George III satinwood and sycamore marquetry secretaire bookcase in the manner of Mayhew and Ince

This lot has been removed from the website, please contact customer services for more information

Lot 74Y Ф
A George III satinwood and sycamore marquetry secretaire bookcase in the manner of Mayhew and Ince

Sold for £ 25,000 (US$ 33,335) inc. premium
A George III satinwood and sycamore marquetry secretaire bookcase in the manner of Mayhew and Ince
The goncalo alves moulded cornice above a 'blind-fluted' frieze and a pair of astragal glazed doors enclosing three adjustable shelves, the lower part with a conforming goncalo alves moulded edge above a writing drawer inlaid with twin marquetry panels of scrolling foliage centred by paterae and revealing small drawers and pigeonholes, below is a pair of cupboard doors each inlaid with a laurel-entwined swan headed lyre with central engraved ivory Apollo mask medallions and enclosing two banks of four graduated mahogany drawers, the sides with oval and rectangular sabicu reserve panels, inlaid throughout with stringing and tulipwood bandings,, 126cm wide, 53cm deep, 245cm high (49 1/2in wide, 20 1/2in deep, 96in high).

Footnotes

  • Provenance:
    The Curwen publishing family in the 19th century and thence by family descent.

    The complex marquetry themes used on the secretaire bookcase offered here are emblematic of poetry and music and were very likely alluding to interests of the bookcase's original owner. The mask of Apollo appears here in the guise of Apollo Musagetes, the God of Poetry and Music. In this role Apollo dwells on Mount Parnassus accompanied by the nine muses, the goddesses of poetic inspiration and the creative arts. The lyre which appears as the central motif on both panels originated in ancient Greece and was thought to have been invented by Mercury and gifted to Apollo whose attribute it is. The lyre is also an attribute of Poetry personified and of Erato, the muse of lyric poetry. The Swans whose heads form the terminals of the lyre were considered to have loved music and uttered a beautiful song at their death. The soul of the poet was also thought to have entered into a swan further enhancing the poetic connection. The presence of pineapples in the marquetry on the secretaire drawer front is unusual and often viewed in the 18th century as emblematic of hospitality although in ancient mythology was symbolic of Aesculapius, the son of Apollo and god of healing and medicine.

    The highly distinctive ivory marquetry mask of Venus within a starburst appears without ivory on the marquetry commode in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and attributed to Mayhew and Ince. The commode was formerly the property of the 1st Lord Tweedmouth at Guisachan House, Inverness and later in the collection of Judge Irwin Untermyer until acquired by the Metropolitan Museum, New York.

    The lyre motif with the Apollo mask head above, although without the swan's heads appear on a marquetry semi elliptical commode formerly in the collection of Basil Dighton, Esq and illustrated in P.Maquoid, A History of English Furniture, The Age of Satinwood, 1770-1820, fig.159, p.175 and on another very similar related commode in the collection of The Lady Lever Art Gallery, Port Sunlight and discussed in L.Wood, The Lady Lever Catalogue of Commodes, London 1994 alongside a wider group of similar commodes. Many of these commodes share the use of circular figural marquetry medallions which Lucy Wood likens to those creations by the emigre anglo-Swedish craftsmen Fuhrlohg, Haupt and J.C Linning although in form the commodes under discussion parallel the work of John Linnell possibly with the presence of an emigre craftsman in his workshop, see L.Wood, ibid., p.259.

    The frieze is similar in feel and composition to that which appears on the pair of cabinets supplied to Viscount Melbourne for either Melbourne House, Piccadilly or Brocket Hall, Hertfordshire and attributed to Thomas Chippendale circa 1773 and widely known as the Panshanger cabinets, now at Firle Place, Sussex. These friezes are also similarly juxtaposed above circular neo-classical marquetry panels, see Christopher Gilbert, The Life and Works of Thomas Chippendale, 1978, p.67, pl.103.

    Mayhew and Ince's work from the late 1760s was increasingly in the emerging neo-Classical manner which was filtering through to Britain from France through the published works of such architects as Delafosse and Gilles-Marie Oppenord. Although it was not until the publication of Robert and James Adam's Works in Architecture in 1773 (featuring Robert Adam's neo-Classical interiors at Kenwood, 1768-71 and Osterley Park, 1767-80) that the transition was completed. Ince and Mayhew were best known for their skilled and innovative use of marquetry and were able to put themselves at the vanguard of the new fashion. Their earliest known commode decorated solely with marquetry dates from as early as 1764 and they were also the first to produce semi-elliptical commodes through their involvement with the Countess of Derby's Etruscan commodes for which they were employed by Adam in 1774. Ince and Mayhew's mature neo-Classical marquetry depended upon a vocabulary of large scale motifs, such as urns, tripods and swags 'coloured and boldly inlaid upon contrasting fields (and) subtle foliage inlaid in different woods', often fruit woods such as pear, holly, plum and harewood.
Contacts
A George III satinwood and sycamore marquetry secretaire bookcase in the manner of Mayhew and Ince
A George III satinwood and sycamore marquetry secretaire bookcase in the manner of Mayhew and Ince
A George III satinwood and sycamore marquetry secretaire bookcase in the manner of Mayhew and Ince
A George III satinwood and sycamore marquetry secretaire bookcase in the manner of Mayhew and Ince
Auction information

This auction is now finished. If you are interested in consigning in future auctions, please contact the specialist department. If you have queries about lots purchased in this auction, please contact customer services.

Buyers' Obligations

ALL BIDDERS MUST AGREE THAT THEY HAVE READ AND UNDERSTOOD BONHAMS' CONDITIONS OF SALE AND AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THEM, AND AGREE TO PAY THE BUYER'S PREMIUM AND ANY OTHER CHARGES MENTIONED IN THE NOTICE TO BIDDERS. THIS AFFECTS THE BIDDERS LEGAL RIGHTS.

If you have any complaints or questions about the Conditions of Sale, please contact your nearest customer services team.

Buyers' Premium and Charges

For all Sales categories, buyer's premium excluding Cars, Motorbikes, Wine, Whisky and Coin & Medal sales, will be as follows:

Buyer's Premium Rates
27.5% on the first £10,000 of the hammer price;
25% of the hammer price of amounts in excess of £10,000 up to and including £450,000;
20% of the hammer price of amounts in excess of £450,000 up to and including £4,500,000;
and 14.5% of the hammer price of any amounts in excess of £4,500,000.

VAT at the current rate of 20% will be added to the Buyer's Premium and charges excluding Artists Resale Right.

Payment Notices

For payment information please refer to the sale catalog.

Shipping Notices

For information and estimates on domestic and international shipping as well as export licenses please contact Bonhams Shipping Department.

Lot symbols
Ф Item contains or is made of ivory

This lot contains or is made of ivory. The United States Government has banned the import of ivory into the USA.

Y CITES

Subject to CITES regulations when exporting items outside of the EU, see clause 13.