A Secrétaire Cabinet of the Regency Period Firmly Attributed to George Oakley

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Object Description

A Secrétaire Cabinet of the Regency Period Firmly Attributed to George Oakley

Constructed in a finely faded and patinated goncalo alvez, having holly and purpleheart stringing; with satinwood to the secretaire interior; rising from tapered square section collared legs, the lower section, having an pair of enclosed fielded panel doors, houses a shelved interior flanked by Pharonic Herms; the lockable drop-down writing secretaire drawer is opened using elliptical gadrooned wood handles, and supported by brass quadrants; fitted with an arrangements of pigeon holes and drawers, holly inlaid; over, the two mirrored doors have Gothic astragals, enclosing a shelved interior; the triangulated pediment is adorned with palmettes, and the shaped acroteriae at the angles are conformingly decorated. Circa 1810

Object History

We attribute this piece to Oakley on the basis of an Oakley piece in our collection, almost identical to recorded pieces made for Papworth Hall (qv).

Object Literature

George Oakley (c.1760-1840) was established at 22 Southside, St Pauls Churchyard, and 8 Old Bond Street in 1786, with a partner, Henry Kettle; in 1800 the firm attracted the patronage of the Prince of Wales, and is discussed by Memnich in his idiosyncratic ‘English Travels’ written in 1807; Papworth Hall, Cambridgeshire, the estate of Charles Madryll Cheere commissioned Oakley to furnish the building, and a bookcase of a very similar form was supplied, as were wardrobes of a similar design to this bookcase; the Papworth Hall bookcase is illustrated in Frances Collard’s ‘Regency Furniture’ published by the Antique Collectors Club in 1985.

Frances Collard, ‘Regency Furniture’, published 1985 by the Antique Collectors Club, pp.107
Dictionary of English Furniture makers 1660-1840, published by the Furniture History Society pp.659-660
The ‘Morning Chronicle’ of 12 & 16 May 1799 records a visit by the Royal Family, and the Prince and Princess of Orange to the Oakley premises at New Bond Street. In 1802 they were granted the Royal Warrant.
Jourdain & Fastnedge, ‘Regency Furniture ‘ London 1965
An Oakley cabinet (ref no. W15:14-1930) in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Object Condition

Excellent condition

Object Details

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