Archive for the sideboards Category

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

Posted in 1851 Great Exhibition, 19th cent., chair, George Greig, Gothic Revival, Memento Mori, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg & Gotha, sideboards on June 18, 2010 by babylonbaroque

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.

A Passion for Renaissance Revival

Posted in 1851 Great Exhibition, 19th cent., furniture, Memphis, Renaissance Revival, Sambin, sideboards on June 4, 2010 by babylonbaroque

The cumbersome and ungainly, always a personal passion. The more I explore the decorative and fine arts, architecture, music, or fashion, the more drawn I am to the overwrought, the over-stated.

WHEN I worked, I would inwardly cringe as a client , most often a second tier designer, would pedantically explain to me “that less is more” ;  code for “we haven’t the budget”.

In celebration of abundance, I present the following extravaganzas.Sideboard 1854

Several years back, 2005-2007, the Getty Center, presented a show, “A Renaissance Cabinet Rediscovered”. They bent over backwards trying to claim the legitimacy of a piece that Getty purchased ages ago. His advisors claimed it was a fake, he went with his gut, and it is now believed to actually be 16th cent. with late 19th century additions.

French

ca. 1580, with late 19th. cent. additions

walnut, oak, paint, brass, iron, linen and silk liing

approx. 10 ‘x 6’x 2’

Getty Collection

I didn’t particularly care, I would have actually preferred the 19th century fake. I love how the Renaissance was interpreted in the mid to late part of the century.

French 19th century

Shown at Great exhibition 1851

The monumental sideboard, the darling of the social climbing nouveau riche, was often based upon designs inspired by the architect, sculptor, designer, Hugues Sambin of Dijon. The following are a few of his wildly inventive designs.

Images ca. 1572-73

I searched for pieces attributed by Sambin and came up rather short.  I will explore in more depth. I predict I will enjoy the renderings more them the finished carvings if the following panel is any indication.

Figurative panel

French ca. 1560

V&A

Now on to what I truly love, mis-guided mis- interpretations of Renaissance propriety.

Sideboard

ca. 1855

Black walnut

Alexander Roux, 1813-1886

American, born France

approx. 49″x$9″x 24″

Brooklyn Museum

I’m particularly drawn to the hunt motif, the addition of a hare head of great interest to me.

Sideboard

ca. 1870

Gerrard Robinson

carved oak, mirror glass, and brass handles

Victoria & Albert

Another whimsical piece by Robinson, also in the V&A, a sideboard with the peculiar theme of Robinson Crusoe.

Sideboard

Carved oak, upper part pine with oak veneer

English, signed and dated 1857

Gerrard Robinson

This is apparently the first known piece by Robinson, with a quirky subject which he re-explores in a piece shown at the International Exhibition of ’62. I have to research that.

To conclude I present another sideboard. also of the More Is Better school of design. I first saw this piece in Philadelphia, soon after production. I am still ambivalent, but I still want it.

Casablanca Sideboard

Memphis 1980-85

Milan

wood, plastic laminate

Brooklyn Museum

Enjoy your weekend.