When the collection of Jasper Conran went up for sale last autumn at Christie’s, lovers of antique furniture were treated to many interesting and unusual pieces, whether or not they had the budget to buy.
This 1740 pine side table with brêche violette marble top certainly caused a stir, with its lion mask, cabriole legs and ‘hairy paw feet’, a style beloved of the Georgians. The table is designed in the ‘Roman’ fashion, promoted by the 3rd Earl of Burlington and his protégé, the artist-architect William Kent, who also designed furniture.
Described as made ‘in the manner of William Kent’ it closely resembles other recorded ‘Kentian’ furniture such as a painted and parcel-gilt table at the National Trust’s Seaton Delaval in Northumberland. ‘This beautiful table, with exquisite carving, is a known model which has always performed well at auction,’ says Benedict Winter, Christie’s head of sale.
‘Christie’s had previously sold a similar table in walnut for £157,250 in 2008 that was formerly part of the great English furniture collection of Percival D Griffiths. This time around, Jasper Conran’s name, together with the exceptional craftsmanship of the table, combined to realise a fantastic result.’
The Georgian side table carried a sale estimate of £30,000 to £50,000, however the winning bid was £200,000, a great result for Christie’s.