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18th Century George III Marquetry Serpentine Commode Attributed to Ince & Mayhew

$630,494.68Asking Price


An exceptionally rare George III marquetry commode attributed to Ince & Mayhew. The serpentine top centred with a rococo cartouche of floral marquetry on a yewwood resererve within a wide cross-banded and moulded edge, standing above a conforming frieze centred by a brushing slide fitted with an inset leather panel, the front of which features inlaid ivy decoration, the case centred by a pair of cupboard doors featuring a large cartouche surrounding a floral bouquet tied with a boy and flanked by swags and tailing foliage, similarly on a yewwood reserve with thick cross-banding, the case with rounded canted corners with conjoined carved giltwood foliate C-scrolls, the side panels with central floral festoons, the case raised on an apron centred by an ormolu rocaille-form cartouche and raised on rounded bracket feet. Provenance: Hotspur Ltd., London Private Collection, USA Literature: Goodison and Kern, Hotspur: Eighty Years of Antique Dealing, London, 2004, pp. 224-25. Ince & Mayhew This rare and magnificent marquetry commode can be attributed to the leading London Georgian cabinetmakers Ince & Mayhew. Mayhew was originally apprenticed to William Bradshaw, the upholsterer, of Soho Square, and Ince apprenticed to John West of Covent Garden from 1752 until West’s death in 1758.  The partnership ran from 1759 to 1809 in London, with workshops in Broad Street, Soho followed by a space on Marshall Street, Carnaby Market.  Initially describing themselves as ‘cabinet makers, carvers and upholders,’ this was variously amended over the term of the partnership to include such terms as ‘dealers in plate glass,’ the categories of ‘cabinetmaker’ and ‘upholsterer,’ however, remaining constant. In 1762 Ince & Mayhew published the Universal System of Household Furniture dedicated to the Duke of Marlborough.  It was a folio of drawings and descriptions in both English and French that was produced in direct competition to their biggest trade competitor, Thomas Chippendale. Chippendale’s The Gentleman and Cabinet Makers Director (which Ince had been a subscriber to) had first been published in 1754 and circulated around the country to the mainly aristocratic subscribers. Fairly quickly it became the industry standard amongst regional and colonial cabinet-makers.  It established Chippendale’s name, not only as a manufacturer of furniture but possibly the first interior designer, advising his noble clients on their overall project, from the colour of their walls to their soft furnishings.  Ince & Mayhew quickly realised the commercial benefits of producing such a body of work and quickly followed suit.   Ince & Mayhew were very much influenced by the French taste and they worked closely with Robert Adam, most notably for Sir John Whitwell at Audley End in 1767, for the Duchess of Northumberland in 1771, for the Earl of Kerry in 1771, and in particular for the Duchess of Manchester in 1775, with the celebrated Kimbolton Cabinet amongst their masterpieces.   Ince & Mayhew distinguished themselves as exceptional cabinetmakers with particular skill at marquetry. Geoffrey Beard and Christopher Gilbert note that the two were ‘highly proficient and adventurous [in] the use of marquetry, distinguished by a variety of techniques and pointing to a significant number of specialist marqueteurs in the firm’s employ.’ This outstanding commode belongs to a distinct group of similar serpentine form and with the characteristic use of floral marquetry on a yew-wood reserve. This group is spread amongst prominent public and private collections. For more details on this group, please be in touch. Hotspur: Eighty Years of Antique Dealing Hotspur Antiques, the venerable antique firm, was a leading gallery in the London market throughout the 20th century. The gallery was established in 1924 by Frederick Kern.  A history lover, Kern named the business after the character in Shakespeare's play Henry IV.  The family run business saw three generations of highly esteemed directors. In 2004, the firm produced a publication entitled Hotspur: Eighty Years of Dealing in 2004.  The cover of this book is a detail of the top of the serpentine marquetry commode. The business closed in 2008 but the memory of the firm and the exceptional pieces that passed through its hands lives on today.


  • Attributed to
    Ince & Mayhew (Cabinetmaker)Mayhew & Ince (Cabinetmaker)
  • Dimensions
    Height: 33.08 in. (84 cm)Width: 59.06 in. (150 cm)Depth: 23.23 in. (59 cm)
  • Style
    George III (Of the Period)
  • Materials and Techniques
  • Place of Origin
  • Period
  • Date of Manufacture
    circa 1765
  • Condition
    Wear consistent with age and use.
  • Seller Location
    London, GB
  • Reference Number
    Seller: N03.751stDibs: LU968813557462

Shipping & Returns

  • Shipping
    Rates vary by destination and complexity. We recommend this shipping type based on item size, type and fragility.
    Ships From: London, United Kingdom
  • Return Policy

    A return for this item may be initiated within 14 days of delivery.

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About the Seller
5 / 5
Located in London, United Kingdom
Recognized Seller
This designation is for sellers whose items consistently exemplify the best of 1stDibs.
Gold Seller
This distinction is for experienced sellers who continually surpass customer expectations.
Established in 2005
1stDibs seller since 2013
16 sales on 1stDibs
Typical response time: 1 hour
The British Antique Dealers' Association
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