Shortly before 1720, in the rich town and country houses, a very flamboyant style of gilded furniture, still suggestive of foreign taste, became fashionable. Certain characteristics of this type existed during the reigns of Charles II and James II, but the development of gilded furniture which took place through the 18th century, is a very distinctive feature of the time.
Reception rooms were furnished with gilded console tables, sofas, chairs and card tables. The first type of console tables were the bracket form, with marble tops which were placed against the walls or between windows often with the tall mirrors above them. The designs of these tables were generally bold and exaggerated, carved in soft wood and heavily gilded. Sometimes portions of animals, human-headed, formed part of the bracket, and in early tables, an eagle displayed, formed the support. Lion masks, shells or contorted faces often features prominently in this period. You will see similar designs portrayed in miniature in the gilt pieces shown in this range.
It was while working on the commission Hever Castle, that John brought out the range of gilt furniture. Many hours of work have gone into the carving and modelling of the master from which SOME of the pieces have been cast in pure English pewter. The pieces have been cleaned, filed down and hand-finished before being gilded in 22 carat gold. Most of the pieces have John's initials carved into the piece.
Spencer Chairs Re-introduced
We have re-introduced this gilt Palm chair from Spencer House, shown below in a Mulvany and Rogers photograph, they were first made for the model of Spencer House in 2004 and were painted white and gilt.
The chair has a beautiful design of flowing palm leaves and scrolls, and has been upholstered in a green fabric especially printed for the chair. John hand-painted the original design, and then it has been printed by Susan Bembridge Designs.
The original model chair in the model Spencer house is now situated in the Kathleen Savage Browning Miniature Collection in the Kentucky Gateway Museum U.S.A.