Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Now, this is living...

or, a good reason to slap Erro Saarinen. Take your pick.
I am seriously starting to hate 20th century furniture. Especially those pieces that are described as iconic. This little bandwagon is well and truly full. I suggest that some may consider waiting for the next bandwagon to jump aboard. Hopefully the next won't be full of such readily repeatable goods, or desire, for that matter.

“We need objects to remind us of the commitments we've made. That carpet from Morocco reminds us of the impulsive, freedom-loving side of ourselves we're in danger of losing touch with. Beautiful furniture gives us something to live up to. All designed objects are propaganda for a way of life.” - Alain de Botton.



A pair of early 19th century Egyptian Revival giltwood console tables inscribed Chenou, Paris each with a ledge back depicting a relief of a pharaoh flanked by crocodiles and stiff leaf capitals and a rectangular rouge marble top above a frieze of hieroglyphs and animal symbols, including alligators, hyenas, scarabs, birds and scorpions, held aloft by a winged sphinx formed in green patinated composition and incised with the maker's name behind the shoulder, the lower portions comprising mirror backs within reeded giltwood frames, on plinth bases.
The design of the sphinx closely recalls that used in the trade label of William Bullock (illustrated in Clive Wainwright, George Bullock -Cabinet Maker, 1988, p.42, fig.13).





An important George III mahogany bombe commode
In the manner of Thomas Chippendale.
The serpentine shaped top with a gadrooned edge above a rococo and gothic relief carved frieze with one long drawer, below are a pair of cupboard doors enclosing shelves and with foliate carved aprons, raised on outswept supports terminating in Greek key carved block feet.
A matching pair of lacquer commodes apppear on page 135 of the ''Dictionary of English Furniture'' by Percy MacQuoid and Ralph Edwards, from Wollaton Hall, Nottingham. A note states that on these examples the carved aprons are missing. They are presently in Birdsall Hall, Malton, North Yorkshire, the property of Lord Middleton, and have since been exhibited at the ''Treasure Houses of Great Britain'' Exhibition in Washington DC as being by Thomas Chippendale.



An unusual George IV Gonzalo Alves side cabinet of narrow inverted breakfront form, the raised volute carved end sections with plain cupboard doors enclosing shelves flanking a pair of central cupboard doors decorated with three flowering lotus stem uprights with a 'halved' stem to each corner, enclosing mahogany faced reeded shelves, on plinth base.
The decorative carved details found on this cabinet show similarities to those found in the designs of Thomas Hope. The ''high'' Regency style side cabinet was often of relatively narrow proportions with a stepped top and narrow side doors.


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5 comments:

Leslie Rogers said...

'This little bandwagon is well and truly full.' Amen to that!

Mrs. Blandings said...

We're just a bit saturated, I think. Perhaps it took this hit over the head to move the whole thing into the mainsteam vocabulary, now it doesn't have to be a dialect. I didn't care for the country French explosion either, but I do like a piece here and there. You should have seen the most amazing Georgian chest I saw today! Make way for brown, furniture, not walls, she will rise again.

Suzy said...

While I don't think I could ever give up 20th C design, I am pretty fed up with 'iconic' designs by the truckload...

An Aesthete's Lament said...

If everything is iconic, then nothing is.

Be the change..... said...

The egyptian revival console took my breathe away! How exquisite!