Important Queen Anne Chinoiserie Corner Cupboard by John Coxed, Sold To An Important Private European Collection…
Six pieces of furniture bearing John Coxed’s labels have so far come to light, and they bear two different styles of label to which this is thought to be the earliest version. This corner cabinet is not only one, of the only now three known examples of the earliest form, but also the only recorded Japanned and chinoiserie piece by John Coxed (1711-1718). It is assumed that this label dates from 1711-1715 and the later version’ from 1715-18. This allows us the rare opportunity to accurately date this unique piece, to sometime between 1711-15.
Typically, Pieces by the outfit are veneered in walnut, mulberry or burr elm and stained to resemble tortoiseshell. Some pieces are embellished with kingwood cross-banding and pewter stringing. This metal line inlay was almost certainly due to the influence of Gerrit Jensen, who introduced such fashionable Continental habits into England in the late 17th century.
All known pieces by Coxed and Woster are in important private collections and museums, to include, The V&A Museum, Colonial Williamsburg, Rousham House and Alexander George Fine Antiques Ltd.
John Belchier, also operated from the Southside of St Pauls Churchyard, just a few doors down from Coxed in the first quarter of the 18th century. The earliest reference to John Belchier can be found in the accounts of Boughton House, between 1687 and 1710.
Interestingly, the label from this piece has been illustrated three times since it was first published by C. Gilbert in the ‘Pictorial Dictionary Of Marked London Furniture 1700- 1840’. However, this is the first time it has been recorded correctly, as C. Gilbert made an error stating that it was from a walnut cabinet at temple Newsome House and the information was simply lifted and used in publications to follow.
The label is illustrated in the following publications
Labelled Furniture From The White Swan Workshops In St Paul’s Churchyard (1711-35) By Adam Bowett and Laurie
Apprenticeship’s In The London Joiners Company 1640 – 1720 By Laurie
Britain’s Most Famous Cabinet Maker Thomas Chippendale…
Born in 1718 in Yorkshire to fairly humble beginnings, Chippendale quickly rose to become the greatest and most influential cabinet makers and designers of all time.
Chippendale’s capability for design was complemented by his remarkable understanding and ability to construct furniture, creating pieces that were beautiful both in look and form, as well as comfort.
It’s not surprising therefore that in 1754 when he published “The Gentleman and Cabinet-Maker’s Director’, that it sold out immediately. These 160 engraved plates presented to the world his collection of designs for ‘the most Elegant and Useful Designs of House hold Furniture’.
This definitive tome was to provide a reference for craftsmen, and this it certainly has, as craftsmen in his own time, and for 300 years since, have emulated his work.
Chippendale intended for the designs to be used and adapted by craftsmen. Each design was a work in progress, to be completed according to the craftsman and client’s preferences. Chippendale’s designs lent themselves to inventive imitation, simplification and combination. He noted that ornament could be removed wherever necessary and often gave several options for decoration on two halves of the same design.
The library table we are offering here is just such an example. Of the period, the design is based on plate No. LXXXI. Taking its inspiration from the
In this case, the craftsman or customer has chosen to add to the design with various drawers to the frieze, one particular drawer being for the storage of pens. But yet the familiar design and outline of the desk can still easily be recognised from Chippendales design.
It is also worth noting that the desk retains its original handles and escutcheons.
From a private collection, the desk is of the period, dating from around 1760.
In keeping with Chippendale’s ethos, the desk displays his exacting design and precision of construction, conveying a gravitas that would appeal equally to the purist collector as the first-time buyer. As expressed by Austrian architect Adolf Loos in 1929 it would be a ‘superfluous folly’ to design a new dining room chair, because the one ‘from Chippendale’s time was perfect.
As featured by the Chippendale Society – http://thechippendalesociety.co.uk/a-chippendale-library-table/
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