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Bookcase
  • Bookcase
    Tatham, Charles Heathcote, born 1772 - died 1842
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Bookcase

  • Place of origin:

    London (made)

  • Date:

    1806 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Tatham, Charles Heathcote, born 1772 - died 1842 (designer)
    Marsh & Tatham (manufacturer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Burr yew veneer, mahogany and pine, inlaid with ebony, with marble top, bronze busts and ormolu (gilt-bronze) mounts; replacement silk panels to doors

  • Museum number:

    W.102:1 to 7-1978

  • Gallery location:

    British Galleries, Room 120, The Wolfson Galleries, case 16 []

Object Type
Tall bookcases with solid doors in the bottom half and glazed doors in the upper section were quite common in British furniture of around 1800. This example is unusual in that it is low, decorated with Classical busts and inlaid with ebony.

Places
The Prince of Wales (later King George IV) was given Carlton House as his official London residence in 1783. He began a programme of building and decoration which continued until the demolition of the house in 1826. As the site sloped, the building contained rooms with low ceilings, including the library, below the principal floor on the garden front. In 1806 the library was provided with new furniture at a cost of £820 3s, which included a set of ebony and ivory bookcases with matching tables, and four of these bookcases.

People
William Marsh (active 1775-1810) and Thomas Tatham (1763-1818) were partners in a very successful firm of cabinetmakers and upholsterers. They carried out major commissions for the Prince of Wales at Brighton Pavilion and at Carlton House. C. H. Tatham (1772-1842), brother of Thomas, was sent to Rome by the architect Henry Holland (1745-1806) in 1794 to collect Classical fragments. Tatham's drawings of these, published as Etchings of Ancient Ornamental Architecture in 1799-1800, provided designers and craftsmen with ideas for furniture and other pieces in the Neo-classical style.

Physical description

Bookcase; pollard yew inlaid with ebony, bronze, and ormolu mounts; statuary marble slab.

Place of Origin

London (made)

Date

1806 (made)

Artist/maker

Tatham, Charles Heathcote, born 1772 - died 1842 (designer)
Marsh & Tatham (manufacturer)

Materials and Techniques

Burr yew veneer, mahogany and pine, inlaid with ebony, with marble top, bronze busts and ormolu (gilt-bronze) mounts; replacement silk panels to doors

Marks and inscriptions

Inventory mark of George IV; inscribed 'No. 1'

Dimensions

Height: 176.5 cm, Width: 111 cm, Depth: 54.5 cm

Object history note

This bookcase, in the Greek style, was made for the library of Carlton House, London, the home of the Prince of Wales, later the Prince Regent. The furniture was supplied by the firm of William Marsh and Thomas Tatham, possibly to designs by Charles HeathcoteTatham, William's brother, who published an influential book of Classical designs in 1799.

Descriptive line

Bookcase, Marsh & Tatham for Carlton House, English; 1806

Labels and date

BOOKCASE
ENGLISH; 1806
Pollard yew inlaid with ebony, bronze, and ormolu mounts; statuary marble slab.

Supplied in 1806 by Marsh and Tatham of Mount Street for the Prince of Wales at Carlton House, and bearing the inventory mark of George IV. [pre October 2000]

Categories

Furniture; Household objects; Woodwork; British Galleries

Collection

Furniture and Woodwork Collection

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