Mahogany, with the original gilt-lacquered brass handles, glass and baize.
Exceptionally, the veneered surfaces have not been re-polished, and retain an extraordinary and original surface
The larger drawers are lined with oak, and those in the writing compartment with wafer-thin mahogany
English (presumably London), circa 1755
‘Mrs Hales, Avington Manor’
The present bookcase, the maker of which has not been identified, relates to others clearly from the same workshop.
For details see:
Blanche Gordon-Lennox, English Decorative Art at Lansdowne House, 1929, pl. LXXVl
Percy Macquoid and Ralph Edwards, The Dictionary of English Furniture, revised edition, 1954, vol. 1,
p. 151, fig. 59;
The Antique Dealers’ Fair and Exhibition Handbook,1954, p. 43
A secrétaire, the top section with open sides, presumably for display of objects, has been noted
In the 1770s Avington Manor, near Hungerford belonged to Elizabeth Jones who, in 1767 married William Langham (who took the name Jones). Elizabeth’s sister Mary Eleanor married Sir Francis Burdett, 5th Bt, heir to Sir Francis Burdett, 4th Bt – of Foremark.
It has yet to be ascertained if Mrs Hales was descendant of what became the Jones Burdett family, or perhaps of Humphrey Walmesley, who acquired the Manor in 1896.