Anja Ritter Kunsthandel

Ladies escritoire

- Lady´s escritoire -
England, George III. (um 1770)

attributed to the group of swedish cabinetmakers to which belonged GEORG HAUPT and CHRISTOPHER FURLOGH during their time in London

palisander, nutwood, fruitwood, sycamore and maple veneered
inside: mahogani massive
marquetry on three sides with exotic birds, flowers and fruits

179,4 x 99,7 x 49,9 cm

This writing-furniture is a very rare type of bureau-cabinets that exclusively had been crafted in England from about 1760 till the early 1770ies. The main influence based on the Hepplewhite-design (also see ill. 1) for writing-furniture of this period in which a revival or better survival of earlier Rococo forms such as the cabriole legs and the serpentine line occured. There was also an increase in the use of extensive marquetry decoration especially with flowers and garlands.

In London the workshop of John Linnell for which besides Johann Christian Linning and Carl Gustav Martin also two other famous swedish craftsmen and later royal court cabinetmakers Georg Haupt and Christopher Furlogh worked during their time in London, was well-known for producing such bureau-cabinets of similar appearance (also see ill. 2 and 3). John Linnell was a talented and celebrated master-designer who could teach the swedish emigrants after their studies in Paris the haut école of english handicraft. Shortly after his studies in London Georg Haupt became the royal cabinetmaker of King Adolf Fredrik of Sweden and later his follower King Gustav III. His works still can be found in the swedish castles like Drottnignholm, Gripsholm, Haga, Tullgarn and the Princess Sophia Albertina Palace and also in the Swedish National Museum and the Nordic Museum Stockholm what made them become the most expensive antiques of Sweden today. Christopher Furlogh who stayed in London, first became self-employed at Tottenham Court Road and later working for the Prince of Wales was honoured with the title `Ebeniste to his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales´.

With its fine and rich marquetry and inlays showing french influences which were brought from the cabinetmakers` years of study in Paris, this unique and wonderful piece of furniture shows the high sophistication and expertness of its creator which is also reflected in the typical english precision work of the inner life.
Writing-cabinets were fashionable furnishings for a library or study. They implied that their owner was both wealthy and educated, a person who needed a special place to house his papers and personal treasures.

A very similar of these rare furniture pieces is exhibited at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London (Museum number: W.2:1 to 7-1962), also mentioned in M. Tomlin: „English Furniture“, London, 1972, ill. 147. (also see ill. 4)

The V & A Museum writes about it:

“This type of light, elegant cabinet, specifically for the use of women, began to be made in the 1760s. […] The cabinet-maker may have been one of a small group of Swedish craftsmen – including Christopher Fuhrlogh, Georg Haupt and Carl Gustav Martin – who came to work in London in the late 1760s after training in Paris. They specialized in naturalistic floral marquetry, as seen here, and sometimes made very accomplished marquetry 'pictures' with figures.”



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