A Rare George I Period Scarlet Japanned Bureau Cabinet
A Rare George I Period Scarlet Japanned Bureau Cabinet
A Rare George I Period Scarlet Japanned Bureau Cabinet

A Rare George I Period Scarlet Japanned Bureau Cabinet

1720 England

Offered by Godson & Coles

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The upper section with arched pediment flanked by later gilt finials on plinths above a pair or mirrored doors opening to an elaborately fitted interior with drawers, pigeon holes and central doors flanked by marbled, fluted pilaster document slides and further drawers with arched niches; the bureau with fall opening to a similarly fitted interior of drawers, pigeon holes and doors over a slide covering a well; with two short drawers over two long drawers; raised on bracket feet; the whole cabinet decorated in scarlet japanning with scenes of figures in oriental dress, in landscapes with sprays of flowers, birds and trees.

The central sunburst interior drawer signed with the initials D.M, (Daniel Massey).
A similar bureau cabinet formerly belonging to Queen Mary and thence by descent to H.R.H the Duke of Windsor, was sold, Christies, London, July 18, 1957, lot 34. It was later owned by Merle Oberon and was sold, Sotheby’s, Los Angeles, November 19-20, 1973 lot 34. With Edwin H. Herzog (Antiques) Ltd., it was given to the Pierpont Morgan Library, subsequently sold, Christies, New York, October 17, 1981 bought by Wendell Cherry and sold from his Estate, Christies New York, October 12, 1996, lot 277.

This cabinet has the central drawer with the inked initials DM. Another similar cabinet sold by us was also signed D.M and in full, the name, Daniel Massey. This showed very clear parallels in decoration including the idiosyncratic use of contrasting ‘nashashi’ panels with figures on the inside of the doors.

Intriguingly, a japanner and cabinet-maker Abraham Massey (or Massay), at ‘The Two White Posts’, Great Queen Street, St. Giles-in-the-Fields, is listed in The Dictionary of English Furniture Makers, Beard and Gilbert, Leeds: W.S. Maney and Son, 1986, p.585. His obituary in the General Advertiser, on January 18, 1746 read: ‘A few days ago died, at his House in Great Queen Street, Mr. Abraham Massay, said to be the most eminent japanner in England’. Whether this is possibly the father of son of Daniel Massey, remains to be determined from further research.

From the estate of Mary Duke Biddle Trent Semans,
1009 Fifth Avenue, New York
Height 95.00 inch (241.30 cm)
Width 41.00 inch (104.14 cm)
Depth 21.00 inch (53.34 cm)
Stock Code
Godson & Coles

Godson & Coles
92 Fulham Road

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