A George I padouk and gilt-gesso Bureau-Cabinet *SOLD*
In three sections, the arched cresting centred by a Venus mask flanked by acanthus scrolls and four squared urn-finials with domed tops, above a band of flowerhead-filled guilloches, with arched and cavetto cornice carved on a pounced ground with acanthus-leaf divided by stylised flowers, the central section with a pair of fielded panelled doors enclosing an interior with nine adjustable shelves, above a pair of candle-slides, the base with hinged feather-banded slope enclosing an interior with green baize-lined writing-surface, two wells and pigeon-holes and drawers flanking a central fielded panelled door, above three graduated long drawers and on shaped bracket feet, minor restorations, four shelves replaced.
Height: 280 cm Width: 106.5 cm Depth: 66 cm
The bureau-cabinet's exotic padouk wood veneer is accompanied by gilt enrichments in the Louis XIV 'antique' or 'Roman' manner, popularised by William III's 'architect' and ornamentalist Daniel Marot (d. 1752), and the publication of his Oeuvres in 1702. Its acanthus-scrolled and husk-enriched pediment is centred by the head of a festive nymph bearing the scallop-shell badge of Venus, goddess of Love, and the corners are surmounted by acanthus-wrapped sacred-urns, whose bacchic thyrsys-like finials have squared 'Mansard' domes. The triumphal-arched cornice is embellished with acanthus leaves and husks, which together with the nymph-head feature on a giltwood cabinet-stand at Althorp, Northamptonshire (see: P. Thornton and J. Hardy, 'The Spencer Furniture at Althorp', Apollo, March 1968, p. 183). The latter and a related pier-table of the mid-1820s at Erthig, Denbighshire, has been credited to John Belchier (d. 1753), cabinet-maker at The Sun, St. Paul's Churchyard (see: M. Jourdain & R. Edwards, Georgian Cabinet-Makers, London, 1955, fig. 31; and G. Beard & G. Cilbert, Dictionary of English Furniture Makers, Leeds, 1986). Another richly decorated and gilt-enriched bureau-cabinet of the 1720s bears the signature of Samuel Bennet (d. 1741) of The Cabinet, in Lothbury, London (see: D. Fitz-Gerald, Georgian Furniture in the Victoria & Albert Museum, ......, 19.., pl. 9); and it is possible that either Belchier or Bennett could have supplied this padouk bureau-cabinet. The modern scallop-shell in the pediment's recessed centre replaces a missing cartouche, which probably displayed a coat-of-arms. It was made by Messrs. Carvers & Gilders, London, and is a simplified version of that on a George I gilt-gesso bureau-cabinet attributed to James Moore, sold anonymously at Sotheby's London, 3 June 1977, lot 93.