Doorcase thumbnail 1
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
British Galleries, Room 52, The George Levy Gallery

This object consists of 8 parts, some of which may be located elsewhere.

Doorcase

1756 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place of origin

Object Type
This door frame is similar to those in the Sala da Ricevimento at Racconigi outside Turin, Italy, also designed by G.B.Borra who made this frame. The carver's bill indicates that there were originally palm trees on top of the vases. It describes the decorative carving as a 'middle Modillion with Frames head & a floroon with berries at bottom' flanked by 'mosaic with flowers a top'.

People
John (Jean) Antoine Cuenot (died in 1763) the carver was of French origin. Mary, Duchess of Norfolk took a particular interest in the decoration of the interiors of her London house. Many of the details were inspired by French engraved ornament.

Place
This doorway was carved by Cuenot for the Great Drawing Room at Norfolk House. The room was hung with Gobelins tapestries which illustrated the flora and fauna of the south east Asia (now in the Great Hall, Arundel Castle). One shows a black woman carried in a hammock accompanied by monkeys. This provided the inspiration for the monkeys on the door surrounds. The room was redecorated in 1845 and two additional doorways were moulded in gilded plaster (one is now in the Art Institute of Chicago). The Great Drawing Room was in the south east corner of the first floor of Norfolk House.


Object details
Categories
Object type
Parts
This object consists of 8 parts.

  • Door
  • Surround
  • Garland
  • Garland
  • Monkey (Left)
  • Monkey (Right)
  • Vase
  • Central Vase Support
Materials and techniques
Carved and painted pine and mahogany
Brief description
Monkey doorway from Norfolk House
Physical description
Carved and gilded pine doorway. The door frame is carved with egg and dart and acanthus mouldings. It is surrounded by a broken swan-neck pediment in the centre of which is a bracket carved with a classical female mask. On the backet is a carved wooden vase decorated with spiral fluting and gadrooning. On each side of the pediment is a monkey carved in the round and holding a swag of fruit and flowers extending from the vase down each side of the doorway. The space enclosed by the pediment is carved with a radiating trellis pattern with four petalled flowers at the intersections. The six panelled mahogany door with contemporary lacquered brass door handle, key-hole escutcheons and bolt. The door dates from around 1800 and is not therefore the original door. The doorway was repainted ad regilded in 2001.
Dimensions
  • Height: 373cm
  • Width: 149cm
  • Depth: 25.5cm
Dimensions checked: Registered Description; 01/02/1998 by LM Object now dismantled and in store in pieces.Waiting for dimensions from MOMART.
Gallery label
  • DOORWAY ENGLISH; about 1755 Mahogany door with carved and painted pine surround. One of a pair of doors from the Great Room at Norfolk House, St. James's Square. Carved by John Cuenot between 1753 and 1756. His costs included '2 Vauzes' at £3.10.0, 'To carving four Monkies in different postures' £19.12.0, '4 large Festoons of fruit and flowers' £17.6.0, and 'gilding all the Ornaments and architraves' £31.6.0.(pre October 2000)
  • British Galleries: This doorcase was designed for the Great Drawing Room, the most important of the circuit of entertaining rooms of which the Music Room was the first. The Great Drawing Room was sumptuously decorated. Its walls were hung with tapestries representing the Indies, as Asia was then generally known. The carved and gilded monkeys on the doorcases echoed the monkeys that appeared in the tapestries.(27/03/2003)
Object history
Commissioned by the 9th Duke and Duchess of Norfolk. Designed by Giovanni Battista Borra (born in Dogliani, Italy, 1713, died, possibly in Turin, 1770); carved and gilded in London by John (Jean) Antoine Cuenot (died in 1763)
Summary
Object Type
This door frame is similar to those in the Sala da Ricevimento at Racconigi outside Turin, Italy, also designed by G.B.Borra who made this frame. The carver's bill indicates that there were originally palm trees on top of the vases. It describes the decorative carving as a 'middle Modillion with Frames head & a floroon with berries at bottom' flanked by 'mosaic with flowers a top'.

People
John (Jean) Antoine Cuenot (died in 1763) the carver was of French origin. Mary, Duchess of Norfolk took a particular interest in the decoration of the interiors of her London house. Many of the details were inspired by French engraved ornament.

Place
This doorway was carved by Cuenot for the Great Drawing Room at Norfolk House. The room was hung with Gobelins tapestries which illustrated the flora and fauna of the south east Asia (now in the Great Hall, Arundel Castle). One shows a black woman carried in a hammock accompanied by monkeys. This provided the inspiration for the monkeys on the door surrounds. The room was redecorated in 1845 and two additional doorways were moulded in gilded plaster (one is now in the Art Institute of Chicago). The Great Drawing Room was in the south east corner of the first floor of Norfolk House.
Collection
Accession number
W.4:1 to 8-1960

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Record createdJanuary 26, 2001
Record URL
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