Samuel Bennet: A George I parcel gilt walnut secretaire cabinet
Samuel Bennet: A George I parcel gilt walnut secretaire cabinet

Samuel Bennet: A George I parcel gilt walnut secretaire cabinet

c. 1720 England

Offered by Mackinnon - Fine Furniture

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Listing Information
A very fine George I gilt brass mounted parcel gilt walnut secretaire cabinet in the manner of Samuel Bennett. The upper section with a giltwood swan-neck cresting centred with a foliate carved giltwood cartouche above a mirrored door flanked by fluted pilasters, one of which conceals the keyhole, the door opening to reveal two adjustable bookshelves above three short drawers, the lower bombé section fitted with a pull-out secretaire drawer above three graduated drawers, standing on bracket feet. Each drawer fitted with its original finely chased elaborate gilt-brass escutcheons and handles.

The Form & Decoration
This exceptional cabinet bears close resemblance to the work of Samuel Bennet (c.1700-1741) in its form and decorative features. A cabinet at the Victoria & Albert Museum by Bennet features elaborate gilt decoration and a finial with a broken swan neck pediment to the top. The cabinet also features fluted pilasters in the Doric order, while the present cabinet features gilded Corinthian tops. A second cabinet illustrated in R. Edwards, The Dictionary of English Furniture similarly features the bombé form of this cabinet (vol. I, p. 136, fig. 30). A further cabinet is illustrated in H. Cescinsky and E. Gribble, Early English furniture and Woodwork (London, 1992, vol. II, pp. 284-285, figs. 387 and 388).

Campsea Ashe High House
Campsea Ashe High House was rebuilt in the 19th century for the Hon. William Lowther, younger brother of the 3rd Earl of Lonsdale. The design by Anthony Salvin sought to retain the original Georgian features of the house. Lowther’s son, James William, served as speaker of the House of Commons between 1905 and 1921 at which point he became Viscount Ullswater. When he retired, he moved to High House and revived the interiors and the garden. The contents of the house were sold in 1949.

Sir James Horlick
The cabinet was presumably purchased by Sir James Horlick, 4th Baronet in 1949 after the sale of the Campsea Ashe collection. Horlick was a renowned collector and noted connoisseur who acquired a number of exceptional pieces for his home Achamore House on the Isle of Gigha in the Scottish Western Isles, including wonderful Chinese reverse painted mirror pictures and the superlative lacquer commode supplied to Harewood House by Thomas Chippendale. Horlick’s collection of English japanned furniture from the eighteenth century was particularly notable and became the subject of an article in the Connoisseur by the editor L.G.G. Ramsay entitled, ‘Chinoiserie in the Western Isles, the Collection of Sir James and Lady Horlick,’ in June 1958. In addition to the chinoiserie collection, Horlick also amassed an impressive collection of eighteenth century walnut furniture, including this bureau bookcase.
James Lowther, 1st Viscount Ullswater (1855-1949), Campsea Ashe High House, Campsea Ashe, Suffolk
Presumably sold Garrod, Turner & Son, Ipswich, The Contents of High House, 24-31 October 1949
Sir James Horlick, 4th Baronet (1886-1972), Achamore House, Isle of Gigha
Thence by descent
L. G. G. Ramsay, ‘Chinoiserie in the Western Isles, The Collection of Sir James and Lady Horlick,’ The Connoisseur, June 1958, p, 4, fig. 6.
Height 244.00 cm (96.06 inches)
Width 101.50 cm (39.96 inches)
Depth 51.00 cm (20.08 inches)
Stock Code
Mackinnon - Fine Furniture

Mackinnon - Fine Furniture
5 Ryder Street
St James's

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