Origin: English Period: Regency Provenance: From a Wiltshire Rectory Date: c.1820 Height: 59.5 inches Width: 39.5 inches Depth: 20.5 inches (all at extremities)
The early nineteenth century black japanned display cabinet on stand with gilt chinoiserie decoration depicting typical oriental figures, pagodas and landscapes, the sides with further decoration depicting a pagoda by a lake, with a pair of glazed cupboard doors, the interior with a shelf, to a shaped frieze and square tapering legs surviving in country house condition from the part contents of a Wiltshire Rectory.
The condition of the cabinet is lived in but thoroughly evocative and she remains structurally sound. There are several deficiencies to the lacquer to note; with several scratches, scuffs, old worm and losses though overall it remains an attractive piece in its entirety. The shelf to the interior is a later replacement and there is evidence of some old worm to the top. There are holes drilled to base and back-boards of the cabinet as it was most likely used for a television cabinet at some point in its life. There is a very well established patination to the lacquer. We love pieces that show their battle scars and remain in un-restored condition, many of these japanned pieces were re-decorated in Victorian times, here we see the original Georgian paint.
The fine art of chinoiserie has been in existence since the 17th century, and it depicts Chinese style designs applied to furniture, ceramics and fabrics. Chinoiserie is wonderfully beautiful, and tends to depict realistic and fictitious animals, insects, people, foliage, structures and various other elaborate Asian designs that can be incorporated into a number of decorating themes. Antique pieces embellished with Asian-style chinoiserie and high-quality japanning are coated with baked-on layers that look very much like modern-day high-gloss enamel. Chinoiserie that has been japanned is coated with many layers of resin-based gloss and baked dry. Much polishing goes into the true technique of japanning, and high-quality pieces will appear to have deep layers of gloss with the sheen of fine marble, but true antique pieces like this will show signs of age and wear.
From a well-healed rectory in Wiltshire, one very rarely sees this type of piece with glazed doors and as such it makes it an unusual and attractive proposition for the decorative market.