Item Provenance & History
Supplied to Charles Powlett, 5th Duke of Bolton (1718-1765) for Hackwood House as part of the furnishings of the library designed by John Vardy.
Thence by descent to his brother, Harry Powlett, 6th Duke of Bolton and in turn to his niece, Jean Browne-Powlett, natural daughter of the 5th Duke, who inherited Hackwood Park and Bolton Castle as part of the family estates, thence by descent to her second son, The Hon. Thomas Orde Powlett.
The underside of the bookcase inscribed:
The Honourable T Orde Powlett
By a Stockton Vessel to Stockton bt Sea
To be forwarded from Stockton
To Bolton Hall by the Leyburn Carrier
July 16th 1816… To be kept very dry
Item Description / Dealer Expertise
AN IMPORTANT GEORGE III PERIOD WHITE PAINTED
ARCHITECTURAL LIBRARY BREAKFRONT BOOKCASE
The design attributed to John Vardy, the carving attributed to Thomas Vary
The upper section surmounted by a swan necked pediment carved with mouldings of egg and leaf with swags of garlands with finely carved fruit and flowers over four doors flanked by recessed pilasters topped with carved acanthus corbels; the doors with wire grills; the lower section with applied Vitruvian scrolls over four doors on a plinth with a moulding of finely carved flower heads
This magnificent bookcase brings together all the elements one looks for in an important piece of English furniture: provenance, quality, designed by the top architect of the day, a fascinating history and a fully detailed documentation.
Designed for Hackwood Park, the magnificent home of the 5th Duke of Bolton, by John Vardy, Clerk of the Works, and exquisitely carved by his brother Thomas, this bookcase was then transported from Hackwood in 1816 to Bolton Hall in Yorkshire via the newly built Basingstoke Canal to Hambro Wharf in London, then on to Stockton-on-Tees and finally to Bolton Hall. What make this piece even more remarkable are the detailed accounts of the voyage, both in the Hackwood records held at the Hampshire County Archives and an inscription on the underside of the bookcase.