Picture This XCVIII

Another item of interest in Bonham’s The Oak Interior sale in New Bond Street, London on the 28th of September 2016 is lot 198, an early eighteenth-century signed and dated oak bureau (figs. 1 & 2).

geo_ii_oak_bureau_by-william_palleday_c1730_01aFig. 1. Lot 198, an oak bureau by William Palleday, circa 1730. (Bonham’s)

geo_ii_oak_bureau_by-william_palleday_c1730_01cFig. 2. Drawer bottom bearing William Palleday’s inscription. (Bonham’s)

Bonham’s sold another, earlier bureau by Palleday (lot 69) on the 3rd of March 2011, bearing an almost identical inscription again, on a drawer bottom (figs. 3 & 4).

queen_anne_walnut_bureau_by-william_palleday_c1710_01aFig. 3. Queen Anne walnut bureau by William Palleday. (Bonham’s)

queen_anne_walnut_bureau_by-william_palleday_c1710_01cFig. 4. Palleday’s earlier inscription. (Bonham’s)

Jack Plane

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In Pursuit of Pleasure: The Polite and Impolite World of Georgian Entertainment

Fairfax House, York, 29 July – 31 December 2016.

From exotica to erotica, In Pursuit of Pleasure opens a window onto the outrageous and sometimes shocking behaviour of ‘polite society’—conducted in the name of entertainment.

Fairfax House’s major summer exhibition will look at the social scene in English towns and cities including London, delving into the tempting array of decadent activities and pleasurable pursuits catering for all tastes and predilections, sometimes challenging the notions of what ‘polite’ entertainment encompassed in the eighteenth century. In Pursuit of Pleasure also specifically uncovers the richness of Georgian York’s offerings as the social capital of the North and the place to see and be seen. With Burlington’s exquisite new Assembly Rooms, the excitement of the races, as well as the city’s renowned Theatre Royal, the city enjoyed a social and cultural renaissance. The explosion of luxury retail experiences combined to make York the destination of choice for those in pursuit of refined amusement. As well as exploring its lively winter season with rounds of dinners, balls, assemblies and parties, the exhibition delves into the city’s debauched diversions, including ‘polite’ society’s taste for notorious trials, visiting prisons and public hangings, the wanton pleasures available in the city’s brothels, as well as raucous activities such as cockfighting, bear baiting and street boxing. In exploring the full gamut of York’s lively social and cultural life In Pursuit of Pleasure reveals a fascinating world of the city’s exuberant, and often times murky, past.

The Fairfax House website includes images of objects in the exhibition, including a remarkable ivory dildo (more information on that here).

Source: Enfilade

Jack Plane

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Picture This XCVII

Bonham’s The Oak Interior sale in New Bond Street, London on the 28th of September 2016 has a number of interesting items including lot 200, a dated walnut chest of drawers (fig. 1).

geo_ii_walnut_cod_c1751_01aFig. 1. George II walnut chest, circa 1751. (Bonham’s)

geo_ii_walnut_cod_c1751_01bFig. 2. Chest top with dated inscription. (Bonham’s)

There are two women named Esther Bugby, or Bugbee, recorded in Essex in the mid-18th century. The first, Esther Broadjent, née Thonniton, married a John Bugbee of Malden, Essex in 1764, so cannot be the Esther whose name was recorded on this chest in 1751. A more likely candidate for its owner was the Esther Rust who married another John Bugby in Great Waltham, Essex in 1736. The year 1751 would have marked the 15th year of their marriage.

It’s rare dated furniture like this that affirm the period styles and construction methods so crucial in dating other furniture.

Jack Plane

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Picture This XCVI

This table is described by its vendor as a “walnut and mahogany eight-legged tilt-top table, circa 1780”. I’m not convinced the top is original… I’m not even certain when or if it began its life as a table.

Geo_III_six-legged_tilt-top_table_c1780_01b1Fig. 1. Unusual George III pillar and claw, circa 1780. (Jamb)

The elephant in the room is of course the claw (standard eighteenth-century nomenclature). On pillar and claw tables, three-legged claws are the norm; four-legged claws (fig. 2) are much less common, and six-legged claws (figs. 1 & 3) are rare .

Geo_II_mahogany_metamorphic_quadruped_reading_table_c1740_01aFig. 2. George II reading table with four-legged claw, circa 1740. (Christies)

Geo_III_six-legged_tilt-top_table_c1780_01cFig. 1. George III mahogany six-legged claw, circa 1780. (Jamb)

Jack Plane

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Spring Cleaning

With spring almost upon us, I pulled the old green jinker out of storage bright and early this morning and began dusting her off in readiness for the first outing of the season. The original paintwork is looking rather tired, but will see me out natheless.


A couple of pretty local girls hinted the other day that it’s also approaching picnic season and that there’s plenty of room in the new wagon for passengers, comestibles and refreshments.

Warm sun, warm smiles and cold cider… I can hardly wait.

Jack Plane

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Picture This XCV Redux

The Irish open fretwork serving table featured in Picture This XCV realised £2,750 ($4,712) against a pre-auction estimate of £1,000 – £1,500 ($1,713 – $2,570).

Geo_III_Irish_mahogany_serving_table_c1760_01aFig. 1. George III Irish mahogany serving table, circa 1760. (Christie’s)

Jack Plane

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LAPADA Art & Antiques Fair 2016

LAPADA Art & Antiques Fair
The Most Prestigious Art and Antiques Event of the Year
13th – 18th September 2016

The LAPADA Art & Antiques Fair returns for its eighth year to the suitably breathtaking surrounds of Berkeley Square, Mayfair. Sponsored by Delancey, the LAPADA Fair offers an unmissable opportunity to source and buy some of the world’s most coveted works of art, antiques, design and decorative arts. This year, it will take place from Tuesday 13th September until Sunday 18th September 2016, marking the start of London’s fashionable Autumn art season.

Over 100 members of LAPADA the Association of Art & Antiques Dealers, all experts in their fields, will exhibit an exquisite range of works across an array of disciplines including jewellery, furniture, carpets, tapestries, antiquities, clocks, ceramics, silver and fine art. As approachable as they are knowledgeable, dealers are always pleased to share insights into the works they offer and their provenance.

Of the furniture on offer at this year’s fair is this extremely fine and rare George I period scarlet japanned mule chest. The hinged top decorated with scenes of oriental figures in landscapes. The front, similarly decorated, with islands, bridges and fishing boats with an elaborate chased escutcheon over two short and one long drawer similarly decorated and retaining their original brass handles and escutcheons. The sides decorated with sprigs of flowers and with the original engraved lifting handles. The chest is raised on four turned bun feet.

LPDF_16_Mackinnon Fine Furniture_Scarlet japanned trunk, reputedly used to belong to Nelson w110.5xd58.4xh76.2cm_HRSuperb George I scarlet japanned mule chest, circa 1720, from Mackinnon Fine Furniture.

With each exhibitor adhering to a strict Code of Practice and an expert committee of 70 specialists assigned the task of pre-vetting every piece individually, the absolute authenticity of all work can be relied upon.

As a longstanding event in the art and antiques calendar the LAPADA Fair has continued to attract private collectors and interior designers from all over the world. The quality and diversity of pieces offered has resulted in consistently high attendance rates, with over 20,000 visitors in 2015.

Showcasing works that range from £500 to £500,000, the fair appeals to the most distinguished of collectors as well as first-time buyers. LAPADA the Association of Art & Antiques Dealers will be principally sponsored by the specialist real estate investment and advisory company, Delancey, for the third consecutive year. This year, through its charity evening, the Fair will be supporting The ARNI Institute, an organisation which provides support to stroke survivors around the UK. The Executive Committee for the event includes Lord Lingfield, Lord Chadlington, and broadcaster Andrew Marr.

Event: LAPADA Art & Antiques Fair 2016
Dates: Tuesday 13th September – Sunday 18th September 2016
Location: Berkeley Square, Mayfair, W1J 6EB
Website: lapadalondon.com
Telephone: +44 (0) 20 7823 3511
Opening Hours: Collectors’ Preview: Monday 12th September 2016: 3pm – 9pm*
Tuesday 13th September 2016: 11am – 8pm
Wednesday 14th September 2016: 11am – 5.30pm
LAPADA Charity Party Reception: Wednesday 14th September: 6pm – 8.30pm
Thursday 15th September 2016: 11am – 8pm
Friday 16th September 2016: 11am – 8pm
Saturday 17th September 2016: 11am – 7pm
Sunday 18th September 2016: 11am – 5pm
Admission: Entrance by ticket priced at £20 each or by invitation
*£65 each for Collectors’ Preview invitation
Underground: Green Park – Jubilee, Victoria & Piccadilly lines
Bond Street – Central & Jubilee lines
Major bus routes: via Piccadilly, Regent Street and Oxford Street

Jack Plane

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Picture This XCV

Amongst the lots on offer at Christie’s Interiors sale on the 17th of August 2016 in South Kensington, London is lot 322 (estimate £1,000 to £1,500); a simple but attractive Irish serving table with open fretwork rails and frog’s back moulded legs (fig. 1).

Geo_III_Irish_mahogany_serving_table_c1760_01aFig. 1. George III Irish mahogany serving table, circa 1760. (Christie’s)

Of interest in another Christie’s auction, Out of the Ordinary on the 14th of September 2016 in South Kensington, is lot 562 (estimate £1,000 to £1,500), a pair of blued steel spectacles that formerly belonged to one of my personal heroes, Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, (fig. 2).

Wellingtons_spectacles_19C_01aFig. 2. The Duke of Wellington’s blued steel spectacles, early nineteenth-century (Christie’s)

North American followers may wish to place a cheeky bid on lot 566 (estimate £4,000 to £6,000 – US$5,216 to US$7,824), a gold and enamel mourning ring for George Washington (fig. 3).

George_Washington_mourning_ring_c1800_01aFig. 3. George Washington mourning ring, circa 1800. (Christie’s)

Jack Plane

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Art and Industry in Early America: Rhode Island Furniture, 1650–1830

For my North American reader: Art and Industry in Early America: Rhode Island Furniture, 1650–1830 – an exhibition, August 19, 2016–January 8, 2017.

mahogany_desk_&_bookcase_by_Christopher_Townsend_c1745–50_01aMahogany ‘desk and bookcase’ by Christopher Townsend, circa 1745–50. (Yale University)

This groundbreaking exhibition presents a comprehensive survey of Rhode Island furniture from the colonial and early Federal periods, including elaborately carved chairs, high chests, bureau tables, and clocks. Drawing together more than 130 exceptional objects from museums, historical societies, and private collections, the show highlights major aesthetic innovations developed in the region. In addition to iconic, stylish pieces from important centers of production like Providence and Newport, the exhibition showcases simpler examples made in smaller towns and for export. The exhibition also addresses the surprisingly broad reach of Rhode Island’s furniture production, from the boom of the export trade at the turn of the 17th century and its steady growth throughout the 18th century to the gradual decline of the handcraft tradition in the 19th century. Reflecting on one of New England’s most important artistic traditions, Art and Industry in Early America encourages a newfound appreciation for this dynamic school of American furniture making.

Source: Yale University

Jack Plane

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Picture This XCIV

Geo_III_cherry_&_laburnum_COD_c1770_01aA George III cherry chest of drawers, circa 1770. (Bonham’s)

Proportionally and stylistically, this chest of drawers could almost pass for a provincial English cherry chest – but for the unusual cornice-like top moulding with its central laburnum tablet (the base moulding and feet appear original, and with the drawers’ proportions, I am certain this chest was not formerly the top chest of a chest-on-chest or chest-on-stand). The cockbeading is also of laburnum.

The chest is also split mid-height, but curiously, there are no lifting handles.

I am unsure of what to make of this chest, though with the inclusion of laburnum, it could well be Scottish.

Jack Plane

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