Mahogany, with ebony embellishments and ‘dove’ marble top (a later black stain removed)
99 x 89.5 x 43 cm
English, circa 1825
William Beckford (1760–1844), 20, Lansdown Crescent, Bath; sold English & Son, 24 July 1848 and following eight days, day 6, lot 72; […]; acquired by J. A. Beer, 2016
There were two cabinets of this form in the Lansdown Tower sale. Lot 72 is described as ‘A cabinet of choice mahogany, in 3 compartments; the centre contains 6 drawers, the sides, shelves enclosed by doors, relieved with ebony, dove marble top; 2 feet 11 inches by [just over] 15 inches by height 3 feet 3 inches’. The following lot is ‘A ditto to match, same height and width, but not so deep’. The dimensions of the present cabinet, in inches, are 3’ 3” x 2’ 11” x 1’ 5”; these correspond almost precisely with lot 72. The top is divided into two, the back half being mahogany and the front marble.
Lot 73, which is just over 15” deep is thus the one in the collection of the Beckford Tower Trust; see H. Blairman & Sons, Furniture and Works of Art (2003), final page. The top is one piece of marble (fig. 1).
Beckford moved to Lansdown Crescent following the 1822 sale at Fonthill Abbey; see Sidney Blackmore, ‘The Bath Years: 1822–44’ in Derek Ostergard (ed.), William Beckford 1760–1844: An Eye for the Magnificent, New Haven & London, 2002, pp. 263–277.
Robert Hume Snr supplied some of the furniture for Lansdown Crescent and may have been responsible for the present cabinet.