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Four furniture highlights from Fine Interiors | 30 April 2019

The Pedestal’s sixth auction of Fine Interiors took place on 30 April at Moor Park Mansion, Hertfordshire. Here we share four furniture highlights from the sale created by and attributed to distinguished English makers.

The fine George III carved mahogany octagonal tripod table (est. £12,000-18,000; sold for £30,000) can be attributed to Thomas Chippendale as it possesses several distinct stylistic characteristics associated with a group of documented tables supplied by Chippendale directly as well as tables attributed to his workshop. For example, the hexagonal top with radiating veneers was a frequent feature of Chippendale’s occasional tables and is seen in two tables supplied by Chippendale to the Lodging Rooms at Harewood House, Yorkshire. The form of sunken Gothic leg panel is seen on the Chippendale fire screen with Gobelin tapestry panel, provided for the tapestry room at Newby Hall, Yorkshire. And, the underscrolled foot appears on the painted candlestands by Chippendale at Blair Castle, Perthshire, circa 1758.  As demonstrated by the strong interest in this piece, the market reacts favourably to items which may lack a documented Chippendale connection in their provenance but do display a group of strong Chippendale workshop characteristics.

From the Regency era, the rosewood, brass marquetry and ormolu mounted library table (est. £6,500-7,500; sold for £7,500), is attributed to Wilkinson of Ludgate Hill. William Wilkinson (d. 1833) of 14 Ludgate Hill traded from 1808, the firm was founded by his father, Joshua Wilkinson, in 1766. The applied guilloche mounts in the library table relate to a sofa table stamped WILKINSON LUDGATE HILL, illustrated in Christopher Gilbert, Pictorial Dictionary of Marked London Furniture , 1700-1840, p. 478, pl. 977. Wilkinson was renowned for fine quality cabinet making and beautiful inlay with gilt decoration, features which  are certainly displayed to good effect here. This table’s relatively large size gives it added presence and while it would certainly be an elegant addition to any library or large study the intriguing design of the base and the sophisticated mounting  make it highly effective as a centre piece to any interior scheme.

Also dating from the Regency period the black lacquer, ebonised and parcel gilt side cabinet, from a Private London Collection, (est. £4,000-6,000; sold for £5,250) features a Harlequin Breccia marble top above a panel of 18th century Chinese black lacquer heightened with gilt decoration, on sturdy hairy paw feet. The intricate, almost fantastical, scene on the panel depicts pavilions, boatmen battling across a lively sea and animals grazing beneath elegant trees. The cabinet’s unusual form, with a grille door to one end, allowed the cabinetmaker to leave this beautiful lacquer panel in one piece. The cabinet forms part of that fascinating group of 19th century pieces which utilise valuable earlier elements in the manufacture of  high style pieces reflecting more contemporary tastes.

This Victorian carved rosewood chesterfield sofa bears the stamp of JOHNSTONE & JEANES, 67 NEW BOND ST, LONDON, (est. £1,500-2,000; sold for £4,000). The business dated from around 1840, it was run by John Johnstone and operated from New Bond Street until 1880. Johnstone & Jeanes exhibited at all the major exhibitions, including London, 1851 and 1862, and Paris in 1878 and a walnut veneered table by Johnstone & Jeaves is held in The Royal Collection.  Previously, in 1835 during the reign of William IV, Johnstone along with Robert Jupe had invented the Capstan extending dining table – a circular table to which leaves could be added to make it larger. The Jupe dining table remains one of the most celebrated and valuable pieces of 19th century furniture and while the firm is best known for these highly complex engineered tables, it is always fascinating to see other examples of their output.

All sold for prices include buyer’s premium at 25%.

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A fine Regency rosewood, brass marquetry and ormolu mounted library table attributed to Wilkinson of Ludgate Hill | est. £6,500-7,500, sold for £7,500

A Regency black lacquer, ebonised and parcel gilt side cabinet | est. £4,000-6,000, sold for £5,250

Detail, the 18th century Chinese black lacquer panel

A Victorian carved rosewood chesterfield sofa by Johnstone & Jeanes | est. £1,500-2,000, sold for £4,000