William & Mary Burled Elm, Fruitwood and Walnut Chest

Marquetry is among the most advanced forms of carpentry art out there and this piece is an absolute masterpiece in burl.  Thought to be made by Gerrit Jensen, famed craftsmen to the British crown in the late 18th century, the decadence of this piece is just astounding.  It really is a shock and awe kind of piece for antique-hounds.  The inlay is so delicate and the details are so fine; this chest simply vibrates with the man hours spent creating it.  And may I say bravo to the gallery and former owners for keeping this treasure in such immaculate condition.

Available through the incomparable Kentshire Galleries in New York

Monday, October 11th, 2010

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Italian Rococo Walnut and Fruitwood Parquetry Commode

This is really the kind of piece to make you salivate – it has a natural elegance to it, incredibly detailed without bragging about it.  The inlay is masterful, but what I really like is the wood selection and how they’ve centered the interesting part of the grain (is that…burl walnut?) smack in the middle of the front curves.  The feet are also lovely; a bit staunch, but they fit the overall scale quite nicely.  So refined and so understated, this is exactly the kind of item I’d like to pick up one of these days.  Leave it to the Italians…

Available until April, 1st as Lot 101 in the Fine European Furniture including Tapestries, Silver, Ceramics and Carpets Auction at Sotheby’s New York Offices.

Italian Walnut and Fruitwood Commode

Friday, March 19th, 2010

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George II Walnut Lowboy

George II Walnut Lowboy

After the last two days, some of you may be tiring of 18th Century British Furniture, so this is the last one on that subject for awhile, I promise!  This was just one more item I couldn’t pass up covering.  The wood patina on this is rather entrancing I think – the coloration is very interesting and it seems like it has been well used over the years, but not abused.  It almost appears as though there’s some kind of subtle inlay happening around the drawer edges, and then your eye is drawn down by those beautifully carved cabriole legs.  It must be quite something to see in person.  I imagine this is the sort of item that you could stare at for hours.  Available until March 25th as Lot 18 in the Three Woods: A Passion for Walnut, Oak & Yew The John Parry Collection at Christie’s King Street Office in London.

Sunday, February 28th, 2010

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A Set of Four Regency Yewwood and Burl-Yew Quartetto Tables

Regency Quartetto Tables in Burl Yew

I’ve made no secret of my love for Regency period furniture, and these quartetto tables are just one more reason to be excited about the style.  They’re absolutely brilliant.  The proportions are particularly appealing on these tables, they seem to fit together with such precision.  The arched support near the legs is also very nice, but the most exciting aspect is clearly the burl or burr yew tabletop.  Burl is essentially the grain from a diseased, bulbous growth on a tree and while it isn’t healthy for the tree, it results in quite beautiful wood.  It is rare in all cases, but exceedingly difficult to find in yew trees, so quite a luxury indeed.   Be sure to use a coaster while resting your glass of Armagnac on top.  Available until March 25th as Lot 103 in the Three Woods: A Passion for Walnut, Oak & Yew The John Parry Collection at Christie’s King Street Office in London.  The entire auction is actually quite exciting and I’ll be featuring a number of lots coming on the block over the next few days.  Those who have the time should look through the entire catalogue.

Friday, February 26th, 2010

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