Teutonic Splendor, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg & Gotha, and the Great Exhibition of 1851

In continuing my mania for all things Teutonic, prompted by my Ring experience, I present this architectural wonder.

Last week I showcased a Gothic Revival chair, part of a set shown at the Great Exhibition of ’51. the set included a sideboard, the sideboard follows.Sideboard or buffet

ca. 1851

designer, Ferdinand Rothbart

makers, Thomas Hoffmeister and Thomas Behrens

carved oak and brown plush

place of origin, Coburg

acquired by the V&A in 1967

In addition to last weeks chair,shown below, and in last weeks post,

the sideboard was commissioned by the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg, Albert’s neck of the woods. As I mentioned last week the chairs and this splendid sideboard,  described as “in the German-Gothic style of the middle ages”, were shown at the Great Exhibition of 1851.

by G. Baxter

from Lane’s telescopic view of the ceremony of Her majesty opening the Great Exhibition of All Nations,

designed by Rawlins, London, August 15th 1851

It would have been difficult for the dashing and reform minded prince to resist the pieces. Aside from their great beauty and craftsmanship, his ties as a member of the house of Saxe-Coburg, and a childhood raised in Coburg , would have made the set irresistible. Typical of so much that I love about these ponderous 19th century sideboards, more like an entire Gothic city block, is that they are overwrought with a particular theme. In this case Germanic “Gothick”, and the ever present love the Germans have for the forest. Forest dwellers such as deer, boars, and a bear frolic about, unaware of the huntsmen with bugle and spears in hand. I’ve mentioned before my love of hunt themed sideboards, this one combined with a motif of rose windows, gothic arcades, a central shield and accented in brown plush, is just too wonderful to resist.

Good purchase your Majesty.

Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg & Gotha

ca. 1842

b. 26th August 1819

d. 14th December 1861

by Franz Xavier Winterhalter

(He was a handsome devil.)

Initially intended for Balmoral, it and the chairs ended up as I mentioned last week in the Evening Drawing Room of the Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh.

The sideboard and chairs, two of which are shown, are illustrated in a watercolor by George Greig  ca. 1863.

George Miller Grieg

artist to the Queen

The image is especially poignant as it is most likely a memento of the Queen’s loss. The Prince had just died and the two female figures are in deep mourning dresses.

The image is small but the sideboard and chairs are visible if you look closely.

On that happy note, Happy Father’s Day dear Prince.

Have a great weekend.

BTW, the watercolor, ” Palace of Holyroodhouse: the presence Chamber or Evening Drawing Room”, by George Greig, 1863, is part of the Royal Collection of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Wouldn’t want to offend the Queen.

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3 Responses to “Teutonic Splendor, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg & Gotha, and the Great Exhibition of 1851”

  1. So glad to have found your blog while looking for works by George M. Greig. Mr. Greig is my Great, great, great Uncle. My Great, great Aunt had inherited a sketchbook from her Mother, that belonged to Mr. Greig. This book was then passed on to my Grandmother. In an effort to preserve the images from the sketchbook, I made copies and hope to one day put them in book form for relatives to enjoy as well. Thank you for sharing this lovely copy of George Greig’s work. Mr. Greig was indeed commissioned by Queen Victoria, for several pieces, some of which hang at Holyrood. I have a copy of his obituary and it is quite informative.

    Regards,

    Dorothy-

    • babylonbaroque Says:

      I am deeply honored to meet you. Your uncle was immensely talented. i hesitated using the image as I hadn’t requested permission, but i am so glad I did.
      Would love to see his obituary. Please keep me posted if you do publish his work.
      Did he only paint interiors?
      Take care,
      Leonard

  2. […] of Holyrood. I posted about Holyrood and it’s interiors in June. I suggest you take a peek , marvelous […]

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