Carlton Hobbs: A Summary of Carlton Hobbs' Social Media Activity - tagged with regency http://www.carltonhobbs.org/feed en-us http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss Sweetcron blog@carltonhobbs.net AN UNUSUAL EBONIZED AND GILTWOOD SIDE CABINET SET WITH ETRUSCAN RED AND BLACK PAINTED TÔLE PANELS http://www.carltonhobbs.org/items/view/12032/an-unusual-ebonized-and-giltwood-side-cabinet-set-with-etruscan-red-and-black-painted-tole-panels

Carlton Hobbs LLC

This early-nineteenth century cabinet is an unusual example of English Regency furniture profusely set with tôle peinte panels and incorporating a stepped superstructure, which seems very likely to have been inspired by the designs of the foremost tastemaker of the period, the Anglo-Dutch Banker Thomas Hope (1769-1831). He showed a similarly stepped chimneypiece in his seminal 1807 publication Household Furniture and Interior Decoration, where it was used to support a display of what he referred to as “Egyptian, Hindoo and Chinese idols and curiosities.”1 (figure 1). This was an illustration of the practical application of his maxim that came to define the period; “antiquity was to be imitated but that it was not to be copied.”2

Figure 1 The side cabinet is set with panels of tôle, defined as tinplate or pewter that has been varnished, painted or japanned. The techniques originally came from technical investigations into the rust-proofing of iron in the early eighteenth century, and its heat-resistance and durability made it popular for use on everyday objects like kettles, tea sets and trays. John Baskerville from Birmingham secured the first patent in Britain in 1759 and not long afterwards a fellow local manufacturer Stephen Bedford is recorded as making japanned copper panels for coaches3, beginning the industry’s long association with that region of Britain. Aside from Birmingham, other main centers of production were the Welsh towns of Pontypool and Usk, and Bilston in Staffordshire.  In Pontypool, a Thomas Allgood led a particularly successful business opening further workshops in Birmingham and London and by the late eighteenth century he was exporting large quantities of Pontypool tole to Europe and America.4 Detail. Carlton Hobbs LLC.

However aside from its practical uses its decorative potential was also quickly recognized; during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries the material was applied to the finest of furniture; in France it was used by premier ébénistes like Adam Weisweiler (c. 1750 – c. 1810) to imitate oriental lacquer.  The term ‘tôle’ itself is borrowed from French, where such objects are referred to as tôle peinte. In England George Brookshaw, a London furniture maker, painted and fired thinly rolled sheets of copper which he applied as veneers to the tops of his tables, concealing the joins with a gilt metal band. A table by Brookshaw from c. 1785 displaying this technique can be found in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London (figure 2).

Figure 2

It is not the practical usefulness of tôle that is being exploited on the present piece but its fine effect as a decorative surface.  Here the subject matter combines a few stylistic influences that perfectly define its period. The panels on the two drawers feature classical warriors in chariots (figure 3 & 4), a popular motif of the time that reminds of the French Empire style and especially Pierre-Philippe Thomire’s magnificent chariot clocks. Possibly the figures here are intended to be the heroes of the Trojan war Achilles and Hector. In contrast, the small curved reserves in the corners of the stepped pyramid tier are filled with Chinoiserie designs including pagodas and oriental landscapes.  The leader of the revival in this taste was the Prince Regent himself, who in the early decades of the nineteenth century was busy renovating his seaside residence, the Royal Pavilion in Brighton, in the most remarkable and ostentatious interpretation of the style. Additionally the restricted red and gold palate of the tole is a continuation of the taste for ‘Etruscan’ decoration that was stimulated by the publication of the designs on Sir William Hamilton’s collection of vases in the late 1760s.5  

Figure 3

Tôle would remain immensely popular in the nineteenth century, as would the related medium of papier maché; both are examples of the diversification of materials and technology that defined furniture and decoration in the English regency.

Figure 4

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Wed, 23 Jul 2014 10:24:00 -0400 http://www.carltonhobbs.org/items/view/12032/an-unusual-ebonized-and-giltwood-side-cabinet-set-with-etruscan-red-and-black-painted-tole-panels
An Imposing Carved Mahogany Center Table In The Manner Of Alexander ‘Greek’ Thomson http://www.carltonhobbs.org/items/view/12008/an-imposing-carved-mahogany-center-table-in-the-manner-of-alexander-greek-thomson

Carlton Hobbs LLC The present table is a beautifully conceived and well-informed example of the British Regency’s taste for eclectic style, executed in the manner of Alexander ‘Greek’ Thomson (1817-1875). Thomson worked predominantly in Glasgow, Scotland, as an architect and designer. He inherited the nickname ‘Greek’ due to his penchant for pre-Roman classical architecture, and continued the Greek Revival style even after it fell out of fashion. He was an innovator and his works regularly combined elements of Greek and Egyptian design with modern materials such as glass and iron. “[Thomson] took the architectural language of the Greeks, spiced it up with hints from Egypt and the Orient…and produced modern classical buildings of a distinctly personal character that were without precedent.”1 This British taste for exotic motifs achieved the momentum of a mania following the publications of such exploratory volumes as Vivant Denon’s Voyage dans la Basse et la Haute Égypt (1802) and Owen Jones’ Grammar of Ornament (1856), which surveyed the forms and decorative devices of ancient civilizations. The use of such motifs became a statement of high fashion as well as conveying the impression of learned sophistication and a familiarity with the history of the ancient past. Figure 1 In addition to the massive churches and monuments in his body of work, Thomson also designed furniture. In his obituary, published on March 23, 1875, the Glasgow Herald notes that “[Thomson’s] works were all the result of most careful study; and his interiors, with which the public are necessarily less acquainted, are as remarkable for their beauty, the offspring of truth and originality, as are his elevations and façades.”2 A particularly extraordinary piece, and one of the few surviving examples, is a large sideboard he designed for his own dining room at Moray Place, today in the Kelvingrove Art Gallery, Glasgow. The present table exhibits many of the characteristics that defined the Regency style, widely informed by the Egyptian manner of design. It is ornamented throughout with decorative elements that appear on Thomson’s architectural works.  The table frieze bears alternating stylized anthemions and “crowns,” above a series of ridges. All of these elements can be seen in the architectural details of Thomson’s “finest and most elaborate villa,”3 Holmwood House, Cathcart (figure 1), for which Thomson also designed original interior schemes. Figure 2 The table base, comprised of unusually wide, splayed legs, bears resemblance to the tripod legs of ancient Chinese and Etruscan vessels. Each of the legs is decorated with carved anthemion, fan, and scroll motifs. A related version of this device can be seen on Thomson’s building designs, an example being the elaborate carved anthemions between the first-floor windows of the Grosvenor Building on Gordon Street, Glasgow, built by Thomson in the 1860s (figure 2).

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Thu, 24 Oct 2013 17:14:00 -0400 http://www.carltonhobbs.org/items/view/12008/an-imposing-carved-mahogany-center-table-in-the-manner-of-alexander-greek-thomson
A Restorer’s Legacy http://www.carltonhobbs.org/items/view/11284/a-restorers-legacy

Here is a look at a new acquisition with quite an interesting provenance.

This pair of panels is comprised of early-20th century miniature versions of two of the chinoiserie canvas panels which line the walls of the Banqueting Room at The Royal Pavilion, Brighton. The original panels were designed by Robert Jones and supplied to the Banqueting Room in circa 1817-1821:   Pained panel by Robert Jones in situ in the Banqueting Room at the Royal Pavilion. Pained panel by Robert Jones in situ in the Banqueting Room at the Royal Pavilion.                                                     The present panels were painted by the decorative artist Wilfred Frost. Frost was employed as a painter and restorer at The Pavilion from 1921, where he worked to fix the damage caused to the Pavilion by its use as a military hospital during World War I. He also copied the original lacquer doors from the Saloon at The Pavilion, now at Buckingham Palace, and his work was admired by Queen Mary. Frost’s father was also an artist employed at the Pavilion. Together they discovered the original Regency decorations through infra-red photography, which had been hidden by coats of paint in Victorian times. Upon his retirement in 1934, Frost painted these panels as a retirement project. A newspaper article from the Brighton Herald, circa 1934, depicts the artist “at work in his Ship-street studio while engaged on the series of reproductions.”

We are currently working to discover more about Wilfred Frost , an obviously talented restorer and painter, and we are excited to own an example of his work!

 

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Wed, 29 Aug 2012 15:11:00 -0400 http://www.carltonhobbs.org/items/view/11284/a-restorers-legacy
The Art of Paperwork http://www.carltonhobbs.org/items/view/8924/the-art-of-paperwork

A French serre papiers, circa 1810. Carlton Hobbs LLC

The letterbox, or serre-papiers (“filing cabinet” or, from the old French, “to store” or “to gather”), was devised to sit on great writing tables to house important papers.  Like the knife boxes and cellarettes of a dining room, letterboxes were designed as independent, moveable pieces of furniture for the study, and they, likewise, evolved to take on more imaginative forms. The present letterbox takes the shape of a peltarion, or pelta, shield. These modified crescent-shaped bucklers were used prior to the 3rd century BC by ancient soldiers including the Peltasts, a type of light infantry in ancient Greece whose title derives from the shield. In figure 1, a Roman wall fresco in the Museo Archeologico Nazionale, Naples, depicts an amazon warrior holding her shield. The pelta shape has been used as a decorative motif from ancient Roman floor mosaics to Renaissance pietre dura designs, such as that on the famed Farnese Table in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  It continued into the 18th and 19th centuries, where it was used in the decoration of neoclassical interiors. Figure 1: Warrior depicted holding a pelta shield in a fresco. Museo Archeologico Nazionale, Naples. A similarly shaped serre-papiers, illustrated in Serge Grandjean’s Empire Furniture, is attributed to M.G. Biennais of Paris, circa 1810.  This letter cabinet, now in the Musée National du Château de Malmaison, also takes the form of a pelta shield and bears the arms of Empress Josephine (figure 2). Figure 2: A similar mahogany and gilt-bronze serre-papiers by G.M. Biennais, now in the Musée National du Château de Malmaison. Another pelta-shaped letterbox from Naples, circa 1810/1815, whose “model is of French origin,” 1 was previously in the Royal Palace of Caserta and of Naples. It is illustrated in Alvar González-Palacios’ I Mobili Italiani, p.92 (Milano: BNL edizioni, 1996).   The serre papiers, open. Carlton Hobbs LLC.

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Fri, 13 May 2011 14:59:00 -0400 http://www.carltonhobbs.org/items/view/8924/the-art-of-paperwork
Carlton Hobbs 9580 http://www.carltonhobbs.org/items/view/1147/carlton-hobbs-9580

Term of the Day: Mirror plate 11/13/09

One of a pair of Regency giltwood and grey painted convex mirrors.

A mirror plate is a sheet of glass or metal used as a reflective surface in a mirror. The earliest mirrors, made by various ancient cultures, were of metal, hammered into a smooth surface, usually of convex shape and polished until they were highly reflective. Although convex glass mirror plates, made reflective by applying very thin sheets of metal to their backs, first appeared in the 1st century AD, it wasn’t until the Renaissance that Venice became a major center of glass mirror production, and that the first flat glass mirror plates were made. Before long, despite the attempts of the Venetian government to keep their methods of mirror-making secret, the practice had spread throughout Europe, though the cost of mirrors remained extremely high. As stronger glass and new methods of applying metal to glass were developed, mirrors became more affordable, and were able to be made with new kinds of decoration, such as cut glass and reverse-glass paintings. Full-length mirrors and furniture incorporating mirrors also appeared, both in the 19th century.

To learn more about this pair of mirrors, visit: http://www.carltonhobbs.com/viewDetail.asp?strReference=9580

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Fri, 13 Nov 2009 11:41:00 -0500 http://www.carltonhobbs.org/items/view/1147/carlton-hobbs-9580
Great Example of Chinoiserie Penwork http://www.carltonhobbs.org/items/view/401/great-example-of-chinoiserie-penwork

In her recent book, Penwork: A Decorative Phenomenon, Noël Riley explores the techniques, influences, and social contexts from which the art developed. An invention of the 17th century, penwork, was a technique of painting initially meant to imitate the lacquer of the Far East but  which grew to include painted simulation of ivory inlay, scagliola and papier-mâché.1 We were excited to see a photo of one of our cabinets in the Chinoiserie chapter of the book on page 129!

The highly unusual painted decoration of the cabinet, which has been remarkably well preserved, draws its inspiration from the rich decorative vocabulary of 18th century chinoiserie, combining these elements in a unique and imaginative way. The graceful figures to the front panels, in balanced but differing poses, offer a more artistic technique than the often formulaic approach of Regency designers and are closer to the work of the celebrated early eighteenth-century cabinet maker and lacquer-worker Giles Grendey (1693 – 1780). The pagodas which decorate the sides of the cabinet were a fashionable element in the exotic royal and aristocratic interiors of the Regency period, yet  have their roots in 18th century Chinoiserie.

The decoration of the cabinet further departs from the convention of the Regency in the subtle coloration of the painted scheme. In being limited to two colors, it follows the theory of grisaille decoration, again in diametric opposition to the vividly colored schemes of the Regency. Finally, the script on the top of the cabinet is a highly unusual and inventive conceit and was intended to be seen as Chinese, however the individual characters are an invention and cannot be read. These decorative themes, accompanied by the subtle 18th century form of the cabinet, make it a very fine George III example of chinoiserie furniture in penwork.

Footnote: 1. Riley, Noël. Penwork: A Decorative Phenomenon. West Yorkshire: Oblong Creative Ltd., 2008. ix.

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Wed, 01 Jul 2009 17:20:00 -0400 http://www.carltonhobbs.org/items/view/401/great-example-of-chinoiserie-penwork
AN UNUSUAL REGENCY SOFA http://www.carltonhobbs.org/items/view/331/an-unusual-regency-sofa

Probably New York. Circa 1810. Of carved and painted giltwood. The upholstered back with scrolling toprail terminating in uprights in the form of seated winged lions, above upholstered armrests opening to a plain apartment, the upholsted seat above a shaped border terminating in a Greek key scroll, the whole raised on four zoomorphic legs, the pair to the front below scrolling eagle wings, the back filled with an upholstered panel.

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Tue, 16 Jun 2009 11:40:00 -0400 http://www.carltonhobbs.org/items/view/331/an-unusual-regency-sofa
A MASSIVE PAIR OF REGENCY GILTWOOD & GREY PAINTED CONVEX MIRRORS http://www.carltonhobbs.org/items/view/337/a-massive-pair-of-regency-giltwood-amp-grey-painted-convex-mirrors

English. Circa 1810. One of the earliest and best-known depictions of a convex mirror occurs in the Arnolfini Wedding Portrait by Jan Van Eyck’s 1434 (National Gallery, London). To make a convex plate at this early date probably involved use of the blown method, an extremely skilled and costly process that made such pieces the preserve of the very wealthy. It was not until the latter part of the eighteenth century that such mirror plates could be made in a mold. The present pair of mirrors epitomizes Regency decoration, particularly in the eagles that surmount each. The eagle was a symbol of might and triumph, and “is often represented on Regency convex mirror frames grasping a chain in its mouth. The eagle sits above a crossed bough of sprigs of oak leaves and acorns, which are repeated among other foliate decoration in the apron. The oak, adopted as the national tree of England, is a symbol of virtue, strength and endurance.

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Tue, 16 Jun 2009 11:28:00 -0400 http://www.carltonhobbs.org/items/view/337/a-massive-pair-of-regency-giltwood-amp-grey-painted-convex-mirrors
A FINE REGENCY BRASS COLZA CHANDELIER http://www.carltonhobbs.org/items/view/324/a-fine-regency-brass-colza-chandelier

Of gilt brass. The corona cast with lotus leaves above a canopy of acanthus leaves, the body, suspended on five supports, each with acanthine decoration, the five foliate arms, each arm terminating in a foliate drip-pan and nozzle, the whole centered by five oil reservoirs, each in the form of a Grecian urn, the whole terminating below in a lotus leaf final.

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Tue, 16 Jun 2009 10:41:00 -0400 http://www.carltonhobbs.org/items/view/324/a-fine-regency-brass-colza-chandelier
AN UNUSUAL 'X' END REGENCY MAHOGANY WRITING TABLE http://www.carltonhobbs.org/items/view/298/an-unusual-x-end-regency-mahogany-writing-table

Of mahogany. The rectangular top with leather inset, rounded to the corners with a moulded edge above a plain frieze, the top raised on two curving X-shaped trestle ends with two foliate paterae to the centre, joined by two circular turned stretchers, the lower lengths moulded to the upper face, each leg terminating in a brass cap and raised on castors.

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Mon, 15 Jun 2009 16:48:00 -0400 http://www.carltonhobbs.org/items/view/298/an-unusual-x-end-regency-mahogany-writing-table
RARE REGENCY EBONISED, BLACK LACQUER AND GILT BRASS MOUNTED CENTRE TABLE ATTRIBUTED TO HENZELL GOUCH http://www.carltonhobbs.org/items/view/289/rare-regency-ebonised-black-lacquer-and-gilt-brass-mounted-centre-table-attributed-to-henzell-gouch

English. Circa 1810. The present elegantly conceived table can be attributed to the furniture designer Henzell Gouch, a sofa-table of whose is part of the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum, and as such it represents an important contribution to the our knowledge of Gouch’s work. A closely related example of a piece known to be by Gouch’s is a sofa table, signed by the maker and dated 1815, illustrated in Christopher Gilbert’s Marked London Furniture 1700-1840. That piece follows the form of the present table with an ebony base conceived of lyre-shaped trestle ends, raised on curving legs and joined by a circular stretcher, supporting a rectangular top curving to the corners. In both pieces the top, above a plain broad frieze and framed in gilt brass, is set with oriental decoration surrounded by an elaborately patterned border. The use of brass inlay, however, distinguishes the present table from the example illustrated by Gilbert.

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Mon, 15 Jun 2009 15:29:00 -0400 http://www.carltonhobbs.org/items/view/289/rare-regency-ebonised-black-lacquer-and-gilt-brass-mounted-centre-table-attributed-to-henzell-gouch
A FINE REGENCY ROSEWOOD 'WEDDING CAKE' REVOLVING CIRCULAR BOOKCASE http://www.carltonhobbs.org/items/view/276/a-fine-regency-rosewood-wedding-cake-revolving-circular-bookcase

English. Circa 1810. Of rosewood. Comprising three graduated tiers, the upper tier surmounted by a continuous pierced balustraded gallery, each tier raised on supports comprising groups of three faux books, the whole raised on a circular moulded plinth and three boldly carved paw feet terminating in brass castors.

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Mon, 15 Jun 2009 12:00:00 -0400 http://www.carltonhobbs.org/items/view/276/a-fine-regency-rosewood-wedding-cake-revolving-circular-bookcase
A VERY FINE PAIR OF REGENCY MAPLEWOOD AND GILT BRASS MOUNTED CABINETS http://www.carltonhobbs.org/items/view/277/a-very-fine-pair-of-regency-maplewood-and-gilt-brass-mounted-cabinets

English. Circa 1815. The design of the present cabinets, called 'dwarf cabinets' by contemporaries, exemplifies the influence of French taste on English design during the Regency period. Such cabinets drew on the Empire formula of a shallow cupboard with paired doors flanked by columns or pilasters. However, the typically stylised carved lotus capitals and the intensity of the design of the extremely fine gilt brass elements to the doors mark the cabinets out as distinctly English. The most striking feature of these cabinets is their beautifully figured maple surface. Known as Bird’s-eye maple because of its delicate mottling, evident in the present pieces, the wood was imported from Canada, where timbers were obtained from New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia.

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Mon, 15 Jun 2009 11:58:00 -0400 http://www.carltonhobbs.org/items/view/277/a-very-fine-pair-of-regency-maplewood-and-gilt-brass-mounted-cabinets
AN UNUSUAL REGENCY EBONISED FOUR DOOR BOOKCASE http://www.carltonhobbs.org/items/view/273/an-unusual-regency-ebonised-four-door-bookcase

English. Circa 1820. Of ebonized poplar with gilded decoration and gilt brass mounts. The upper section surmounted by a recessed triangular pediment flanked by two lunettes, decorated with geometric lines and palmettes, above a plain cornice and frieze decorated with parellel lines meeting with scrolling ends from which issue horizontal palmettes, the front bearing four glazed, hinged doors, the glazing divided into rectangular sections by leading affixed with small metallic rosettes, above eight arched, recessed panels, set in pairs, highlighted with gold lines and palmettes, the lower section comprising four doors, set with conforming recessed, arched panels and gold palmette and line decoration, the whole raised upon a plain plinth base.

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Mon, 15 Jun 2009 10:44:00 -0400 http://www.carltonhobbs.org/items/view/273/an-unusual-regency-ebonised-four-door-bookcase
AN EXCEPTIONALLY LARGE PAIR OF FIVE-LIGHT REGENCY GILT-BRASS AND CUT-GLASS TABLE CANDELABRA ATTRIBUTED TO JOHN BLADES http://www.carltonhobbs.org/items/view/248/an-exceptionally-large-pair-of-five-light-regency-gilt-brass-and-cut-glass-table-candelabra-attributed-to-john-blades

English. Circa 1820. John Blades was a leading glassmaker of the early 19th century. He was active from 1783, when he opened his shop at 5 Ludgate Hill, London, until his death in 1829. Known as the “great glass man of Ludgate-hill,” Blades specialized in chandeliers and candelabra of superior quality. His clientele included the Second Earl Grosvenor and the Draper's Company, a prestigious livery company in London, and in 1789 he was appointed Cut Glass Manufacturer to his Majesty, George III. A print from Ackerman's Repository of the Arts depicts the Ludgate Hill showroom filled to capacity, and includes a candelabrum comparable to the present pair. They combine Blades’ characteristic design elements to produce an exquisite example of a lighting style popularized during the Regency period in England. The present candelabra are probably the largest of this type.

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Wed, 10 Jun 2009 16:29:00 -0400 http://www.carltonhobbs.org/items/view/248/an-exceptionally-large-pair-of-five-light-regency-gilt-brass-and-cut-glass-table-candelabra-attributed-to-john-blades
Regency Revisited http://www.carltonhobbs.org/items/view/232/regency-revisited

In Regency Redux by Emily Evans Eerdmans (New York, 2008) various 20th century interpretations of the Regency style, from “the Napoleonic to the Classical Moderne to the present, are explored.”1 Clean lines combined with the flair of French Empire style resulted in glamorous and luxurious interiors in the homes of the Hollywood haut monde, achieved by pairing contemporary and antique design elements.

Interestingly, in the book there appears a chair very similar to a fine pair of carved silver-gilt Rococo single chairs, probably from Genoa circa 1760, in our collection (left). The chair can be seen in situ in a photo of a fashionable “Hollywood Regency” interior designed by Jack Woolf for fellow decorator James Pendleton’s home (right).
We’re excited by this find and continue to investigate the provenance of our chairs and any connection they have to the homes of Hollywood.

1 Eerdmans, Emily Evans. Regency Redux. New York: Rizzoli, 2008.

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Tue, 09 Jun 2009 15:02:00 -0400 http://www.carltonhobbs.org/items/view/232/regency-revisited
A ROSEWOOD GILT-BRASS MOUNTED AND INLAID ARMCHAIR PROBABLY BY GEORGE BULLOCK http://www.carltonhobbs.org/items/view/229/a-rosewood-gilt-brass-mounted-and-inlaid-armchair-probably-by-george-bullock

George Bullock (d. 1819) made his name as a highly important contributor to Regency design as a cabinetmaker. His career was short, and for a period, unrecognized, but in that brief time he executed highly original works and won commissions from esteemed persons of the day, and notably, Napoleon's final home at New Longwood on St. Helena, contracted by the British government. Over the course of his career Bullock received several major commissions: those of New Longwood, Cholmondely Castle, Abbotsford for Sir Walter Scott, and Great Tew Park for industrialist Matthew Robinson Boulton.

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Tue, 09 Jun 2009 14:33:00 -0400 http://www.carltonhobbs.org/items/view/229/a-rosewood-gilt-brass-mounted-and-inlaid-armchair-probably-by-george-bullock
A MAGNIFICENT LATE REGENCY GILTWOOD AND GILT-COMPOSITION SIDE TABLE DESIGNED TO SUPPORT A MOST UNUSUAL FLORENTINE TOP OF PIETRE DURE AND MARBLES http://www.carltonhobbs.org/items/view/219/a-magnificent-late-regency-giltwood-and-gilt-composition-side-table-designed-to-support-a-most-unusual-florentine-top-of-pietre-dure-and-marbles

The Top And Frieze Section Probably Florentine. Circa 1720. The Base English. Circa 1820. This extraordinary table must rank as one of the most exuberant and flamboyant expressions of the late Regency taste and was almost certainly conceived and made in England in the early years of the 19th century as a vehicle for the display of its superb 18th-century Florentine pietre dure tabletop. The subject matter and character of the present top appear to have no precedent in the study of marble inlay in Italy. The composition of the top closely resembles an engraving by the Flemish-born artist Giovanni Stradano (1523-1605). The table base, which is composed of two entwined dolphins, forms part of a small group of early 19th-century tables with similar bases conceived in an antiquarian taste inspired by the English Palladian movement of the first half of the 18th century, and in particular by the furniture designs of William Kent.

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Mon, 08 Jun 2009 15:04:00 -0400 http://www.carltonhobbs.org/items/view/219/a-magnificent-late-regency-giltwood-and-gilt-composition-side-table-designed-to-support-a-most-unusual-florentine-top-of-pietre-dure-and-marbles
A Regency Mahogany Center Table With Top Of Pietre Dure And Marbles Emblazoned With The Arms Of John Howard Galton Esq. Of Hadzor Hall http://www.carltonhobbs.org/items/view/207/a-regency-mahogany-center-table-with-top-of-pietre-dure-and-marbles-emblazoned-with-the-arms-of-john-howard-galton-esq-of-hadzor-hall

In 1819, John Howard Galton, son of Samuel Galton Jr. and Lucy Barlcay of Dudson House, Birmingham, was married to Isabella Strutt, daughter of Joseph Strutt, Mayor of Derby and Isabel Douglas. This table was made in honor of the marriage, with both families' crests and coats-of-arms displayed on its top using inlaid marble and hardstone decoration. The large shield shows the Galton coat-of-arms, with a small shield inside it showing the coats-of-arms of the Strutt and Douglas families. Above are the crests of the Galtons and the Strutts. The top's exquisite quality suggests it was made in one of the leading Italian workshops, where English noblemen often commissioned lapidary items. Its base has a pleasing Grecian simplicity, and traces of an unusual dark green coating indicating that it originally resembled bronze. The Galtons' home was Hadzor Hall, former home of Katherine of Aragon. The table remained there until 1929, when John Howard's grandson, the last of the Galton line, died.

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Thu, 04 Jun 2009 17:51:00 -0400 http://www.carltonhobbs.org/items/view/207/a-regency-mahogany-center-table-with-top-of-pietre-dure-and-marbles-emblazoned-with-the-arms-of-john-howard-galton-esq-of-hadzor-hall
A Regency Ebonized and Gilt-Brass Mounted Center Table with Inset Micromosaic Top Depicting St. Peter's, Rome http://www.carltonhobbs.org/items/view/185/a-regency-ebonized-and-gilt-brass-mounted-center-table-with-inset-micromosaic-top-depicting-st-peters-rome

Mosaics as an art form emerged in Rome in the 16th century, under the influence of the Pope, and were used primarily in a religious context as a type of "permanent painting," competing with more traditional forms of art. By the 18th century, the advancements in technology and craft, and the increase in patrons' wealth and demand allowed mosaic art to be be rapidly produced and commercialized. Private ateliers sprang up and began to produce mosaic work to supply the Grand Tourists of the 18th and 19th centuries with trophies, including tabletops like the present piece, to be taken back to England. The view of St. Peter's Basilica in the center of this top is strikingly similar to the one on a table in The Gilbert Collection, London. The present table's gilt-brass and ebonized base, which in true Regency fashion adapts classical elements like zoomorphic feet and a triform base, would have been specially constructed for displaying the top.

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Wed, 27 May 2009 16:52:00 -0400 http://www.carltonhobbs.org/items/view/185/a-regency-ebonized-and-gilt-brass-mounted-center-table-with-inset-micromosaic-top-depicting-st-peters-rome