The Expert Eye

The Expert Eye

25/05/2022     furniture, Design & Interiors, Chiswick

 

A secrétaire from one of the 18th century’s greatest cabinetmakers, a bureau from the estate of Winston Churchill, and a pair of gigantic prehistoric antlers are all up for grabs amongst a host of selected works of art and curiosities in our sale on 30th May. 

An expertly curated auction, it will celebrate timeless art and objects, preserving their glory in an ode to provenance, technique, uniqueness and beauty. The eclecticism of this sale is the perfect opportunity to perfect or start a collection, whatever your price point (estimates from £50 to £25,000).

 

PROVENANCE

 

Sometimes the intrinsic value of an object lies in its origin, the place which housed it, or the person who had the enjoyment of it.

 

 

 

LOT 67
FROM THE ESTATE OF SIR WINSTON CHURCHILL - A GEORGE III OAK BUREAU.
ESTIMATE £4,000-6,000

 

The late Georgian bureau with neoclassical lines was owned by one of Britain’s most admired figures, Sir Winston Churchill. A timeless design, it is a desk with a soul that will delight history buffs! The bureau is accompanied by valuable detailed documentation of its provenance: the original sale catalogue from auction, Knight, Frank & Rutley, The Estate sale of the late The Rt. Hon. Sir Winston Churchill, K.G., O.M., C.H, 19th January 1966, copies of press clippings detailing the desk's history, and documentation relating to the purchase of the desk at the Chelsea Arts Fair in 1973.
Items related to Sir Winston Churchill are always popular in our saleroom. Letters and photographs have featured often, but furniture is rare - which makes lot 67 so special.
 

 

 TECHNIQUE 

 

For the Greeks, art was first of all a tekhnè – or technique. Perhaps the best example of a
remarkable technique can be found in lot 27.
 

 

LOT 27
A LOUIS XVI SECRÉTAIRE À ABATTANT, BY PIERRE ROUSSEL (FRENCH, 1723 - 1782),
CIRCA 1770s.
ESTIMATE £20,000 - 25,000

 

Pierre Roussel (French, 1723 - 1782) sits in the pantheon of cabinetmakers, along with André Charles Boulle (1642-1732). From 1745, he was a highly sought-after « maître ébéniste » and was considered one of the best cabinetmakers of his time (Almanach d'indication générale ou du Vray merit, 1769). Greatly appreciated by his peers, he became deputy of the body of cabinetmakers in 1777.
His abundant and varied productions have adapted to all styles of the eighteenth century. Elegant and refined, this piece is in the transitional style and is a later production from the Roussel workshop. The secretaire is inlaid with exceptionally fine marquetry in precious wood such as cherrywood, tulipwood, rosewood, amaranth and various other woods. Depicting a detailed scene of an orangery, the lower section double doors bear similarly composed marquetry panels, though centered with detailed close ups of vases of flowers, stamped to the top 'P ROUSSEL' beneath the marble top. 
The elaborate pictorial marquetry of the secrétaire bears the characteristic features of the work of renowned craftsman André Louis Gilbert (1749-1809). His compositions often centred on a portico, an arcade or a temple as can be seen on the front sections of this example. Pierre Roussel produced numerous works for the Prince of Condé for the Bourbon Palace and the Château de Chantilly. His works are now displayed in the greatest museums, such as the Louvre and the Petit Palais. A comparable secrétaire, with a similar stamp, can also be found in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
 

 

 

UNIQUENESS
 

The impressive pair of very large Irish elk will delight lovers of curiosities and natural history alike. This showpiece trophy gives a sort of eternal life to this majestic animal that has been extinct for 7700 years.
 

 

LOT 303
TAXIDERMY (EXTINCT):A PAIR OFVERY LARGE IRISH ELK (MEGALOCEROS GIGACTEUS)
ANTLERS AND SKULL.
ESTIMATE £15,000 - 18,000
 
About 17,000 years ago, on a wall of the Lascaux cave (France), an artist painted a deer with gigantic antlers, still visible today. Far from being an exaggeration, it is an accurate depiction of the Megaloceros Gigacteus, often known as Irish Elk, Irish Deer or Giant Deer. They were one of the largest species of deer ever. The largest males weighed nearly 700 kilos and sported the largest antlers in the world. Some could span as much as 3.5 m wide and weigh nearly forty kilos. The Irish Elk evolved and thrived in Ireland for almost 400,000 years, but the species also extended far beyond that, to western Siberia.

 

BEAUTY 

 
An exquisite painting that reminds us of Chardin’s Panier de fraises des bois (1760-61), fresh and cheerful!
 

 

LOT 393
ELOISE HARRIET STANNARD (BRITISH 1829-1915)

Still life of strawberries and honeysucklesigned and dated 1876 (lower left)oil on canvas
ESTIMATE £2,500 - 3,500
 
In the nineteenth century, still life art was often assigned to women, influenced by the hierarchy of genres that was established by the French Royal Academy. However, Eloise Harriet Stannard excelled and was recognised as the greatest still life painter of England. Daughter of landscape painter Alfred Stannard and niece of the marine and landscape artist Joseph Stannard, both prominent members of the Norwich School of painters, the first provincial art movement in the UK. Her works were mainly influenced by seventeenth century Dutch still life, in particular by the artist Jan van Huysum (1682-1749). She was particularly gifted in setting her fruit arrangements on a luminous surface, thanks to her several layers of colour and fine and almost invisible brushwork. It is this luminosity and richness in the colours, noticeable also in Still life of strawberries and honeysuckle, that made Eloise Stannard one of the most talented still life painters in Great Britain. She exhibited from1852 at the British Institution, the Royal Academy of Art, the Royal Society of British Artists and the Royal Glasgow Institute and she was also nominated a member of the Society of Women Artists in 1871. Some of her known works are hung at Norwich Castle, which contains the largest collection of work by the Norwich School of painters.
 
 
 
 

The Expert Eye, a unique sale which explores a rich selection of more than four hundred lots, mixing centuries, continents, and artistic styles.

View online catalogue – or, better yet, join us in person for the Viewing Days:

 

Friday 27 May 10am to 5pm

Saturday 28 May 11am to 4pm

Sunday 29 May 11am to 4pm

 

The Expert Eye | Monday 30 May at 10am