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Enquiry from Online Galleries regarding "A George 111 carved and gilded chimneypiece, in the manner of Thomas Johnson."
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The main part of Stratfield Saye house was built around 1630 by Sir William Pitt. Apart from a few minor alterations the structure of the original house is practically unchanged, but the interior was extensively re-modeled at various times, particularly during the period 1730-1790 when the house was owned by Sir William’s Pitt grandson George, who in 1776 was made Baron Rivers of Studley Castle. The present chimney piece was most likely supplied during one of these renovations.
The simple elegance and restrained rococo style of this particular chimney piece has strong parallels with a chimneypiece with over-mantel from Halswell Park (1), Somerset, attributed to Thomas Johnson (2). Although the present chimneypiece no longer has the over-mantel both chimney-piece surrounds share the same elongated sinuous and elegant ‘C’ scrolls and delicate foliate motifs to the centre of the frieze. Thomas Johnson (1714 -1778) one of the leading exponents of the Rococo style was known as a carver and furniture designer and during the 1750s published several books of designs - these included The Book of the Carver, 1758 and One Hundred and fifty New Designs between1755 and 1758.
(1) Country Life, November 21st 1908 p.702. (Halswell Park is now partially destroyed)
(2) Apollo Magazine September 1956 ‘Notes on Furniture, Rococo Mirrors and a Chimney piece by Thomas Johnson’ pp. 83 – 86.
|Height||136.00 cm||(53.54 inches)|
|Width||162.50 cm||(63.98 inches)|