Ahead of the Fine Interiors auction featuring A Bold Perspective – a selection from Peacock’s Finest, Alex and Paul tell us what inspires them about a handful of pieces from their collection coming under the hammer on 20th July.
A neo-classical style cream, green and white painted dog kennel, est. £2,000-2,500 (+fees)
This is an attention-grabbing piece, wonderfully intricate and playful, and also quite unusual. Its finely balanced appearance would indicate that it was possibly designed by an architect for the specific architectural features of a particular space, possibly an earlier interior in the style of Robert Adam.
Dog kennels date from the 18th century, when they became popular among aristocratic dog owners. One such famous canine lover, Marie-Antoinette, commissioned this delightful example from the chair maker Claude I Sené, c. 1775-80, fashioned in gilded beech and pine and covered with velvet, it currently resides in the Metropolitan Museum, New York, the gift of Mr and Mrs Charles Wrightsman, 1971.
We admire the clean lines of the temple-like design here, reflecting both Palladian and neo-classical styles.
A George IV mahogany leather patent reclining library armchairs, one in green leather, the second in red leather, by Robert Daws, each est. £1,500-2,000 (+fees)
These armchairs retain their old, beautifully patinated leather upholstery. They evoke the sought-after ‘undecorated’ English country house look, promoted, for example by the interior decorator, John Fowler.
They have to be the most comfortable armchairs we have ever used, with their fully reclining backs and retractable foot-supports – they are an absolute must for a gentleman’s library.
Pair of George III style carved gilt wood tables / torchère stands, est. £800-1,000 (+fees)
We are intrigued by the wonderfully sculptural and superbly decorative design here reflecting the mid-18th century fashion for all things unusual and exotic: chinoiserie and rococo, as well as the obsession with tropical plants and birds.
Such fanciful designs incorporating the ‘Tree of Life’ motif were introduced by Thomas Johnson in his book Collection of Designs, 1758. They looked equally at home in chinoiserie wallpaper-mounted bedrooms as in garden follies, and were often designed in a whimsical manner.
A Victorian walnut, sycamore and floral marquetry centre table, est. £3,000-4,000 (+fees)
This is an outstanding, museum-quality table. It is large enough to seat eight diners, but we think it was most likely designed as an eye-catching, sumptuous centrepiece for a hall or gallery.
Intricately inlaid with a variety of exotic veneers, this design is also very well balanced, gravitating towards the late Regency era rather than echoing the Victorian lack of restraint.
Tables such as this, veneered in richly figured walnut and decorated with exquisite floral marquetry, are associated with Edward Holmes Baldock (1773-1845) – he designed in the 18th century style as well as creating more contemporary pieces. Baldock cannot be pigeon holed as either a manufacturer or a retailer, rather he is more akin to figures such as Daguerre and Poirier – merchand-merciers: retailers who worked in interior decoration and also acted as general contractors, as well as designing and commissioning furniture.
Pierre Joseph Antoine (Belgium, 1840-1913), Orpheus and Eurydice, oil on canvas, signed and dated, 1908, est. £3,000–5,000 (+fees)
This beautiful painting was created around the same time as work was completed on the iconic Villa Kerylos, on the Côte d’Azur. The villa was built for the French archaeologist Theodore Reinach and his wife, Fanny Kann, a cousin of Maurice Ephrussi, who was married to Beatrice de Rothschild. Reinach’s aim was to recreate the atmosphere of a luxurious Greek house set within a modern building and the plot bordered on three sides by the sea was similar to the aspect seen in many ancient coastal Greek temples. The interiors at Villa Kerylos displayed Roman, Pompeiian and Egyptian influences.
As with the Villa Kerylos, Antoine’s painting celebrates the classical beauty of ancient civilisations – one of our own deep passions – executed within the more familiar context of the early 20th century.
Fine Interiors: featuring A Bold Perspective – a selection from Peacock’s Finest ● Tuesday 20 July 2021, 2pm
Viewing opens: Friday 16 July at 10am | For all viewing dates and times and auction related information: visit here