1 The Eaton Hall Rosewood Cabinet
Design firmly attributed to E.W.Godwin
Made by Collinson and Lock of London
The scroll-carved broken arched Queen Anne pediment above a dentil and moulded frieze, with a pair of astragal glazed doors flanked by shelves beneath fielded panels, above a central drawer and semi-circular cupboards, the moulded top above a pair of panelled doors with an open panelled section beneath, on shaped splayed feet, Japanesque engraved brass handles, hinges and lockplates, stamped 'Collinson and Lock, London 7480', the handles, hinges and lockplates all stamped 'Elsleys, Gt Portland St, London', 225cm high, 128cm wide, 41cm deep
Provenance: Eaton Hall, Cheshire. A previous owner PURCHASED this lot from a sale of the contents at Sweetenhams of Chester, 20th and 21st May 1959, lot 283.
This piece has many features, which firmly show Godwin's hand at work, i.e. the Queen Anne broken pediment, (Susan Soros, 'Secular Furniture, Butterfly cabinet, p. 227; and a Queen Anne cabinet p. 269 and an 'over door', p. 251), the dentil moulding to the top is identical to the Butterfly cabinet, the astragal glazed doors and panelled lower doors identical to a design for a table for Grey Towers (Susan Soros, 'Secular Furniture', p. 157 and similar detail to the doors on two cabinets on pp. 222-223). The semi-circular central side doors and semi circular open shelves above are identical to a dressing table and a sketch for a dresser (Susan Soros, 'Secular Furniture', p. 211), a design for a mantle piece (Susan Soros, 'Secular Furniture', p. 248) and a design for a buffet (Susan Soros, 'Secular Furniture', p. 265). The integrated design of solids and voids in many of his cabinet designs and the framed back panels to each individual shelf and framed panels to each side is typical of his work. The splayed front feet are identical to the Four Seasons cabinet (Susan Soros, 'Secular Furniture', p. 217). The elongated handles with japanesque engraved back plates simulating Japanese WEAVED rush work (Susan Soros, 'E. W .Godwin Aesthetic Movement, Architect and designer', p. 303, fig. 11-10 and Susan Soros, 'Secular Furniture', p. 268) a detail he used in many combinations.
'Sheraton and Queen Anne in Japan at Eaton Hall' only Godwin could have designed this masterpiece. Possibly part of a larger commission as the Eaton Hall archivist also found a Collinson and Lock billiard table in the inventory at Eaton Hall. Godwin is known to have designed billiard tables for Collinson and Lock, as a design appears in a sketchbook on the 6th of October 1873, carved in the Jacobean style with circular decorations of white storks in relief interspersed with square panels. In a corresponding entry on the 7th of October 1873 it shows that he designed it for the Mclaren house, a large commission that Godwin did at Adison Rd, Kensington.
The third Marquis of Westminster, who later became the 2nd Duke of Westminster, commissioned Sir Alfred Waterhouse to substantially remodel and rebuild Eaton Hall. The work began in 1869 and reached its completion in 1883.The large drawing room can be seen in a photograph taken circa 1887, pl. 199 in Cooper, Jeremy 'Victorian and Edwardian Furniture and Interiors', in which Cooper mentions that the Duke had spent £600,000 on the decoration alone, and that Heaton, Butler and Bayne carried out the work. In 1885, an inventory of the contents of Eaton Hall was carried out, and it is precisely at this point in time that the cabinet receives its first mention. Having occupied a place in the Ormand Sitting Room, 72 on the ground floor of the North Wing of the Waterhouse Hall, the cabinet was described as, 'A Rosewood china cabinet with cupboards beneath and glass fronts at the top, 50ins.' The cabinet is then mentioned again in a 1917 inventory in the Angel Bedroom. The cabinet made its next appearance in 1931 in the 'Declaration of Trusts', which was a valuation of the contents of Eaton Hall, appearing as T86/27 in the Stewards Offices with a similar description, and then finally in the 1959 sale mentioned above. Sotheby's, and various other local auctioneers held many sales of the various contents of Eaton Hall from 1955 through to 1961 until the Hall was demolished in 1961. 225cm high, 128cm wide, 41cm deep This description was compiled with the generous help and assistance of the Grosvenor Estate's Archive Department, Eaton Hall, Cheshire