An Antique Bonheur du Jour by Holland & Sons

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Object Description

An Antique Bonheur du Jour of Exhibition Quality by Holland & Sons

Lovingly constructed in Bois Citronnier, and Purpleheart woods, with extensive usage of finely cast, planished and mercury gilded mounts, and, ‘Sevres’ porcelain plaques.

Throughout the construction, the Bois Citronnier ground is cross banded with Purpleheart. Rising from sabot shod cabriole legs, with pierced foliate mounts at the knees; the apron, of serpentine form houses three drawers,each faced with foliate form gilt bronze frames housing Sèvres plaques, a ‘fete galante’ to the centre, and the flanking drawers with ladies dressed in the style of the late ancien regime; all drawers accessed by concealed spring operated buttons: the writing surface edged with a gilt bronze guard cast with foliates and gadroons, having espagnolettes to the angles, and the superstructure having a central bank of four concave drawers, with mahogany linings, with a pierced and scrolled gallery over, which, when depressed, allows the drawers to be opened; the flanking cupboards, dressed with stiff leaf gilt bronze running bands, having elliptical gilt bronze plaques housing further Sèvres plaques of courting couples over drawers, which are accessed by use of a special tool: the tops of the cupbard are hinged, and are opened by means of concealed spring loaded clips, to reveal velvet lined compartments. The four canted angles of the superstructure, dressed with gilt bronze herms, house ‘pull-out’ secret document containers. A pierced and shaped gilt bronze gallery surmounts both cupboards.
Circa 1860

Object Literature

Originally founded in 1803 by Stephen Taprell and William Holland, a relation of the architect Henry Holland, the firm of Holland & Sons soon became one of the largest and most successful furniture making companies in the 19th Century. The firm worked extensively for the Royal Family, being granted the Royal Warrant early in the reign of Queen Victoria, hence taking a leading part in the decoration and furnishing of Osborne House, Sandringham, Balmoral, Windsor Castle and the apartments of the Prince and Princess of Wales at Marlborough House. Holland and Sons also worked extensively for the British Government, for whom they executed over three hundred separate commissions, including the Palace of Westminster, the Victoria and Albert Museum, and oversaw the State funeral of the Duke of Wellington. Among their private commissions the firm produced a celebrated suite of bedroom furniture for the late Sir Harold Wernher at Luton Hoo.

Always at the forefront of fashion, Holland & Sons employed some of England’s leading designers and participated in all of the International Exhibitions of 1851, 1855, 1862, 1867, 1872 and 1878.

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