Rare Japanned Cabinet

Rare japanned and painted chinoiserie cabinet-on-stand, the doors with a scene of figures on a pleasure boat, the interior with a two door central compartment, surrounded by an arrangement of fourteen small drawers, the stand of upright scrolled legs joined by stretchers. English, c. 1820. Feet of stand restored.

Height 69" (1,75m)
Width 38" (96.5cm)
Depth 19¼" (49cm)

Provenance :-  Possibly Queen Adelaide, the wife of William IV; The Hon. Carolina Boyle (d. 1883), Maid-of-Honour to Queen Adelaide; bequeathed to her solicitor, Luke Coleman; his daughter, Florence Knibb; thence by descent.

The decoration of this cabinet is markedly similar to that of a group of japanned and tôle side cabinets variously attributed to Henry Clay or Frederick Crace. One of this type was sold from Chatsworth House in 2010,(1) and another was recently sold at auction in New York,(2) having previously been on the market in London in the 1980s. Another was sold by this firm some years ago. This group of cabinets have tôle doors and tops, but otherwise are very close in style to the present cabinet, with closely related Chinese figures in landscapes, floral and leafy borders and panels, and even with a very similar metal strip between the doors. They are so close for it to be reasonable to surmise that they were made in the same workshop.



1)  Sotheby’s, Chatsworth: The Attic Sale, 5th-7th October 2010, lot 370, £127,250.

2)  Sotheby’s New York, English and European Decorative Arts, October 2014, lot 123, $53,125. This cabinet had been previously sold at auction at Sotheby’s in Chester (13th -14th April, 1988, lot 2055), and was then on the market with Partridge Fine Arts, London.

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