A Regency brass inlaid chiffonier.
Date: 2016-02-14 12:34:16
Period: Regency Period c. 1800-1835
Height: 35" (89cm) / Width: 61.25" (155.5cm) / Depth: 16.75" (42.5cm)
Height: 35" (89cm)
Width: 61.25" (155.5cm)
Depth: 16.75" (42.5cm)
A rare Regency period oak veneered and brass inlaid inverted breakfront chiffonier; the rectangular top with a brass moulded edge above three sprung frieze drawers, below are a pair recessed panel doors enclosing an adjustable shelf and flanked by further panel doors which enclose a fitted interior of alphabetically lettered drawers and adjustable shelves, raised on scrolling feet. Profusely inlaid throughout with brass arabesque anthemion decoration.
Signed and dated Eliezer Porter, Cabt. Maker, Lincoln, May 1820.
Eliezer Porter was from a family of cabinet-makers who owned premises in Lincoln; he died aged 27 on the 22nd May, 1822 and is buried at St. Mary's Le Wigford, Lincoln.
Porter designed this Regency chiffonier in the highly fashionable Greek Revival style and the profuse arabesque anthemion decoration on the panel doors and frieze owes much to the furniture designs of George Bullock. Bullock was a prolific Regency cabinet-maker whose furniture designs were widely featured in Ackermann's Repository especially from 1816 onwards. After his sudden death in 1819 a sale of Bullock's inventory drew further attention to his work and a collection of his drawings known as the Wilkinson tracings allowed for a greater dissemination of his designs.
Brass marquetry decoration is one of the most notable characteristics of Regency furniture. The detailed use of scrolling foliage, flora and classical motifs of brass inlay on this piece of furniture are probably influenced by arabesques from classical antiquity such as those found on Greek vases popularised by Baron d'Hancarvilles great publication of the Hamilton vases, Antiquitees Etrusques, Grecques et Romaines, tirees du Cabinet de M. William Hamilton. The arabesques on the door panels also reflect the extremely fashionable taste for French boulle furniture which was avidly collected by the Prince Regent and his circle. A number of London cabinet-makers produced brass inlaid furniture to cater to this taste including Louis Le Gaigneur, Thomas Parker and George Oakley.
Eliezer Porter's construction of this chiffonier is also very unusual. It is extremely rare to find pieces of furniture veneered on oak onto a mahogany secondary wood, usually it is the reverse. This suggests it was a particular request of whoever commissioned the chiffonier and may reflect the contemporary desire to promote the use of native woods and manufacturing after the successful conclusion to the Napoleonic wars.
All of these features demonstrate this Regency chiffonier is of the highest quality and designed in the most fashionable taste of the day.