James Shoolbred Aesthetic Movement Ebonized Buffet 1885
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Sold Date: 01/20/2007
Channel: Online Auction
Category: Furniture & Furnishings
IMPORTANT Jas Shoolbred Aesthetic Ebonized Buffet c1885
Our latest container recently arrived from the UK, and this item is from it. We have more extraordinary things that we'll be listing in the coming days and weeks, so be SURE to check out our other auctions!!!
This is another truly fabulous item, and AN IMPORTANT & UNBELIEVABLY RARE PIECE
An Original and Genuine
Antique English Victorian Aesthetic Movement Sideboard or Buffet, in Ebonized Mahogany, w/ Seven-Mirrored Back, Fitted Drawers, Fretwork Galleries, Mirrored Side Shelves & Cupboard w/ Bevelled Glass Doors & Strap Hinges, by James Shoolbred, Dating to c.1885..!
Please, do NOT be under any illusion regarding just how important this sideboard REALLY is, and then be astonished that we are offering it at the giveaway price of $995
It is a truly magnificent piece, see 6 pics above and fully 22 below.
It came to me from the same source as the similar but smaller Aesthetic Movement sideboard that I sold recently on eBay.
This is a piece of furniture of great importance by James Shoolbred, the leading Victorian London maker of Aesthetic Movement furniture, designed for them by the leading Victorian designer, H W Batley.
Of solid ebonized mahogany and of stylized demi-lune shape, this extraordinary sideboard with its clear Oriental influences features a raised back with high central bevelled edge mirror flanked by ball-finialled fretwork galleries over two smaller mirrors, those flanking a full-width integral shelf.
Below that shelf on the back are four further bevelled mirrors set behind the twin column-turned shelf supports.
The body of the buffet features an overhanging molded-edge top over twin side-by-side central drawers flanked by faux drawers, all with fretted brass drop-handles, over twin hinged doors to the cupboard below. Those doors are fitted with superb full-width brass strap-hinges and exquisite brass escutcheons, and each door sports no less than nine individual bevelled-edge glass panes, for a total of eighteen..!
Those doors are flanked by two galleried over-and-under display shelves to either side, the top two shelves on either side having mirrors to both backs and sides, and a full-width bottom shelf with fretwork gallery.
In all, then, this astounding piece has no less than 15 (yes, that's fifteen!) integral mirrors, and the whole stands on beautifully-turned legs.
The inside-front of the right-hand drawer bears the rightly world-famous ivorine maker's label that enables positive identification of this piece to Shoolbred, as that label reads:
'JAMES SHOOLBRED & Co / TOTTENHAM HOUSE / TOTTENHAM COURT RD / LONDON'
To give an idea of how important Shoolbred's was, they made furniture for Queen Victoria & Prince Albert! Further, Charles Dickens and William Makepeace Thackeray were regular patrons, as per this extract from 'TIME' magazine dated March 9, 1931:
'When Dickens and Thackeray went shopping they were very apt to go to Shoolbred's department store on Tottenham Court Road, near Kensington Gardens..'
Shoolbred & Co's premises in Tottenham Court Road evolved into one of the first great department stores, and it was in the 1870s that they began manufacturing their own high quality furniture. From around 1874 Shoolbred decided to employ freelance designers not only to ensure the quality of their furniture but also to build and protect their reputation.
This sideboard offered has many striking similarities to an extremely important piece of furniture held in the collection of the Powerhouse Museum, in Sydney, Australia, that belonged to John Harris, mayor of that city in the 1880s, and a photo of that Harris sideboard is viewable on that museum's website.
The high central section with smaller mirrors below, the doors each with nine panes of bevelled-edge glass and identical brass strap hinges, the ball-finialled galleries and turned columnar supports, all are common to the piece offered , and that...
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