Luxury Design, Past & Present
William IV period bonheur du jour, in the Louis XV style. Of kingwood parquetry banded in rosewood, the finely cast ormolu mounts to the superstructure enclose finely executed porcelain plaques depicting fruit, flowers and birds, within gilt foliate arabesques. Though of a Louis XV style, the casework and drawer linings are clearly of English make. The piece relates strongly to the work of Edward Holmes Baldock, a London dealer of the first half of the 19th century who specialised in pieces in the French manner then popular. It is thought that with the crown and the interlinked 'L' cipher on the sides of the superstructure the piece may have been in the possession of Mary, the princess royal and daughter of George V and Queen Mary, who was married to Viscount Lascelles, later the Earl of Harewood, and was possibly in their original London home, Chesterfield House. Upon their departure from London, the contents of Chesterfield House were sold by Sotheby's in 1932, and the house itself was demolished and replaced with a block of flats.
Provenance: in the possession of Mary, Princess Royal (1897-1965) and her husband, Viscount Lascelles, later 6th Earl of Harewood (1882-1947), sold by Sotheby's, April 7, 1932
Literature: Gilbert, Marked London Furniture 1700-1840, 1996, p. 16, pp. 76-80
Beard & Gilbert, Dictionary of English Furniture Makers 1660-1840, 1986, p. 34
Sotheby's, 'Catalogue of the Remaining Contents of Chesterfield House, Mayfair, the property of the Right Hon. Earl of Harewood', 1932
Attributable to Edward Holmes Baldock