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Enquiry from Online Galleries regarding "The Chatsworth Nagasaki Table from The Great Exhibition 1951"
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This unique table, made around 1850, is known to have been purchased by William Spencer Cavendish, the 6th Duke of Devonshire (1790-1858). From the Great Exhibition of 1851 in the Crystal Palace - the architect of which was the Duke's own gardener Joseph Paxton who was subsequently knighted for the achievement. There are late 19th century photographs extant of this remarkable table in the Oak Room at Chatsworth included in two books about the house, The House, a Portrait of Chatwort (1982) and Chatsworth - The House (2002), authored by the Dowager Duchess of Devonshire.
Another table with the same rich, many-coated black lacquer and aogai inlaid decoration, but smaller and circular, is in the Het Loo Palace National Museum at Apeldoorm in the Netherlands (see Oliver Impey and Christiaan Jorg, Japanese Export Lacquer 1580 - 1850 (Amsterdam, 2005), pi. 544). This, too, has a fairly elaborate pillar and feet, the pillar being carved as a palm tree and the base with three feet as the pads of a lion. It is documented to the year 1849, the same period as the present piece.
Monkeys dressed in short, padded chanchanko jackets were trained by itinerant performers in Japan and these are found frequently in Japanese art. The subject would have greatly amused Europeans familiar with the French fashion for 'Singerie', the depiction of monkeys in human dress engaged in human activities, in both paintings and sculpture. Indeed in England pet monkeys were dressed and taught to emulate human behaviour; for example Hogarth’s Taste in High Life of 1746 depicts a group of young people with similarly dressed, monocled monkey perusing a menu. The creature wears a coat of the 18th century silk taffeta type made for a pet monkey in the collection of the Musee de la Textile, Paris. The table as great work of lacquered art must have drawn admiration and acclaim from amused visitors to the 1851 exhibition and later at Chatsworth.
|Height||72.00 cm||(28.35 inches)|
|Width||121.00 cm||(47.64 inches)|
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