Robert Adam: A Chimneypiece from Harewood House
Robert Adam: A Chimneypiece from Harewood House

Attributed to ROBERT ADAM (1728-1792)

Robert Adam: A Chimneypiece from Harewood House

c. 1765 England

Offered by Mackinnon - Fine Furniture

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Listing Information
A rare and important large George III Chippendale period pine chimneypiece possibly designed by Robert Adam or John Carr; the carving throughout of exceptional quality; in the neo-classical taste, with carved laurel wreaths and bell flower swags and classical urns.

Height: 62 1/2 in (158 cm); Width: 92 1/4 in (234.5 cm); Depth: 9 in (23 cm)
Opening: Height: 49 1/2 in (125.5 cm); Width: 57 in (145 cm)

Robert Adam
Robert Adam was the pioneer of the classical revival in English interiors in the late 18th century with the introduction of Neo-classical taste. Adam spent three years in Rome between 1754 and 1757, where he collaborated with Piranesi and created extensive drawings that later inspired his English interiors.

Adam’s extensive collection of drawings and designs for interiors from his workshop are housed at the Soane Museum in London. There are over one hundred designs for chimneypieces not including the designs that are part of a larger interior scheme. These chimneypieces reflect some designs that were executed, but also represent those that were never created.

There are two designs in particular that bear an affinity to the present example. The first is an unexecuted design for a chimneypiece for a dressing room on the first floor for a Charles Rogers Esqr. The second is another chimneypiece design for a drawing room from 1766 for Mr Macken/Mr Mackenzie Esq that was also not executed.

Harewood House
Harewood House is home to the Lascelles Family, originally built between 1759 and 1771 by architects Robert Adam and John Carr for Edwin Lascelles, 1st Baron Harewood. Carr was responsible for the exterior architecture while Adam designed the interiors in the fashionable neo-classical taste.

In the 1840s, the architect Charles Barry remodeled Harewood House adding an additional floor to the end pavilions and replacing the portico with Corinthian pilasters. The interiors were also modified, including an entirely new dining room. At this time many of the original features, including a great deal of Chippendale’s original furnishings, were removed and placed into storage.

Princess Mary married Viscount Lascelles on February 28, 1922 at Westminster Abbey. In the early years of their marriage, Princess Mary and Viscount Lascelles lived at Chesterfield House in London and Goldsborough Hall in Yorkshire with their two sons, George and Gerald. In 1929, Viscount Lascelles’ father died and he became the 6th Earl of Harewood, at which point the family moved to Harewood House.

Princess Mary, who was given the title Princess Royal, modernized the interiors in the 1930s to the designs of Sir Herbert Baker, a protégé of Edward Lutyens, executed by Brierley and Rutherford of York. In addition to designing a new private apartment for Princess Mary and modernizing the interior with additional bathrooms and central heating, Baker also redecorated most of the main rooms. Again, at this time, further of Adam and Chippendale’s original features were removed, stored, sold, and even destroyed.

Being made of pine, this chimneypiece would have been more economical than the grandest ones of the period that were made in marble. The surface would have been gilded or painted to simulate stone

During Princess Mary’s stay at Harewood House, Dr Henry Burness Cook took up residency at Harewood and served as one of the family’s doctors starting in the 1930s through to 1961. Princess Mary had a fondness for Dr. Cook and in the 1950s she is understood to have gifted him this pine chimneypiece that was removed from the original Harewood House interiors after either Barry or Baker’s refurbishments. At that point the chimneypiece was stripped of its paint and installed in the Cook’s family house in the village of Harewood.

By repute, the collections of the Earls of Harewood, Harewood House, Yorkshire
Gifted by Princess Mary, Princess Royal and the Countess of Harewood to a Dr Cook, circa 1950 - 60 who
is said to have been her physician and lived on the estate.
Height 62.50 inch (158.75 cm)
Width 92.50 inch (234.95 cm)
Depth 9.00 inch (22.86 cm)
Stock Code
Mackinnon - Fine Furniture

Mackinnon - Fine Furniture
5 Ryder Street
St James's

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