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George III Flame Mahogany Breakfront Wardrobe Compactum, 18th Century
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George III Flame Mahogany Breakfront Wardrobe Compactum, 18th Century

About

This is an impressive antique George III flame mahogany breakfront wardrobe compactum, circa 1780 in date. The wardrobe has strong architectural lines and features an elegant moulded cornice above a fluted frieze decorated with inlaid satinwood fan medallions. The central section with a pair of doors decorated with superb oval harewood crossbanded panels opening to an interior fitted with a brass hanging rail above a pair of half with drawers over two full width drawers, all with beautiful harewood crossbanding. The central section is flanked by cupboards each enclosing shelves, hanging space and sliding trays. The wardrobe is raised on an elegant shaped plinth. It comes complete with working locks and keys. It is a truly beautiful wardrobe which is also very spacious. Condition: In excellent condition having been beautifully cleaned, polished and waxed in our workshops, please see photos for confirmation. Dimensions in cm: Height 209 x width 216 x depth 62 Dimensions in inches: Height 82.3 x width 85.0 x depth 24.4 Flame Mahogany Thomas Sheraton - 18th century Furniture designer, once characterized mahogany as "best suited to furniture where strength is demanded as well as a wood that works up easily, has a beautiful figure and polishes so well that it is an ornament to any room in which it may be placed." Matching his words to his work, Sheraton designed much mahogany furniture. The qualities that impressed Sheraton are particularly evident in a distinctive pattern of wood called "flame mahogany." The flame figure in the wood is revealed by slicing through the face of the branch at the point where it joins another element of the tree. Harewood The term harewood or airwood originally described a type of maple wood with a curled or "fiddleback" figure, used to make the backs of stringed instruments. In 17th century England it was imported from Germany. In the 18th century harewood came to be used by marqueteurs; for most artificial colours they used holly, which takes vegetable dyes very well, but airwood was employed either in its natural off-white state or stained with iron sulphate to produce a range of silver and silver-grey hues. The reason that harewood was preferred to holly for this colour was that it gave a metallic sheen or lustre, while holly dyed by the same process turned a rather dead grey. The use of harewood in this way meant that by the 19th century it was associated specifically with that colour, and at the same time name gradually changed from airwood to harewood. In a relatively short space of time the action of the chemicals, together with natural oxidization, turns harewood brown, sometimes with a greyish or greenish hue, which is how the wood now appears on old marquetry. The notion that harewood and other coloured woods can be produced by injecting dyes into the roots of trees appears to be an old wives' tale of some antiquity, perhaps propagated by marqueteurs to protect their trade secrets.   

Details

  • Dimensions
    H 82.29 in. x W 85.04 in. x D 24.41 in.H 209 cm x W 216 cm x D 62 cm
  • Seller Location
    London, GB
  • Seller Reference Number
    09786
  • Reference Number
    LU950616789382
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About the Seller

5 / 5
Vetted
Platinum
Associations: LAPADA - The Association of Arts & Antiques Dealers
1stdibs seller since 2012
Typical response time: <1 hour
Located in London, GB
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