Collector’s cabinet

  • Designer / Maker

    By George Bullock (1782/83-1818)

  • Provenance

    […]; with G. Rogers, Boscombe, 1950s; private collection; H. Blairman & Sons; private collection

  • Collection

    Private collection

  • Notes

    The present cabinet is virtually identical to the one exhibited in the new British Galleries at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London (see Christopher Wilk, ed., Western Furniture 1350 to the Present Day (London, 1996), pp. 142-43). The decoration of the present cabinet, contre-partie on the frieze and premiere-partie on the doors, is in reverse to that on the V & A cabinet, but the plinths are identical. The principal external difference between the two cabinets, both of which have three doors opening to reveal tiers of drawers with ebony framed label mounts, is the band of ‘pipping’ beneath the frieze on the present example.

    The raised central platform (possibly for a bust) and the shaped plinth, together with the marquetry patterns on the frieze, doors and plinth, are all well-known features both in Bullock’s documented oeuvre and from designs in the Wilkinson Tracings (City Museums and Art Gallery, Birmingham). For example, the marquetry pattern on the doors (Wilkinson Tracings, unbound number 240), was also produced in brass and ebony, in première-and contre-partie (see Clive Wainwright et al., George Bullock: Cabinet-Maker, exh. cat. (London, 1988), under no. 44). The frequently encountered frieze and plinth marquetry patterns embellish, in brass on an ebony ground, a pair of cabinets supplied to the Duke of Atholl (Wainwright, op. cit., no. 9). For the early use of a raised central platform see the pair of cabinets supplied to William Roscoe (Wainwright, op. cit., no. 6).