A rare mid 19th century burr walnut Centre table of superb quality by Holland & Sons, designed by the architect Gottfried Semper (1803-1879) recently acquired from a private collection where, until recently it had remained in the same titled Family Estate since it was made.
This table consists of an oval burr walnut top of the finest colour & quality and a Kingwood banding with a rounded edge that forms a gallery.
The top is supported by a highly decorative frieze of burr walnut & a finely cast ormolu mounted decoration which incorporates leopard masks to correspond with the design of the base.
The top is supported by four finely executed leopard mask monopodium supports with a scroll design to the top and these lead down to four leopard paw feet.
The piece is supported by a rounded quatreform base consisting of burr walnut with a rounded moulding of boxwood & elm with a burr walnut frieze.
This table is of superb quality & condition and is ready to go straight into a collection or a home.
The pattern for its Ionic-scrolled pilasters was introduced by Gottfried Semper, author of Wissenschaft, Industrie und Kunst (Science, Industry & Art), 1852 and professor at the Marlborough House School of Design. The same Leopard pilasters featured on the stand for a important ebony and porcelain-mounted cabinet that Semper and his students designed for the leading cabinet makers of the period, Holland and Sons, to display at the Paris 1855 Exhibition & which is now held in the Victoria & Albert Museum.
Gottfried Semper was a famous German architect and professor of architecture who designed works at all scales, from a baton for Richard Wagner to designing the Egyptian section of the London 1851 Exhibition and had previously provided designs for the Meissen (1835-49) and Sèvres (1849) Manufactories.
His works & designs, commissioned in furniture, are incredibly rare, mostly in the collections of European Royal Palaces and this piece remained in the same Important Titled Family Estate from when it was made until recently.
The makers of this table, Holland & Sons, were founded in 1803 by Stephen Taprell and William Holland, a relation of the architect Henry Holland, the firm soon became one of the largest and most successful furniture making companies in the 19th Century. The firm worked extensively for the Royal Family, being granted the Royal Warrant early in the reign of Queen Victoria, hence taking a leading part in the decoration and furnishing of Osborne House, Sandringham, Balmoral, Windsor Castle and the apartments of the Prince and Princess of Wales at Marlborough House. Holland and Sons also worked extensively for the British Government, for whom they executed over three hundred separate commissions, including the Palace of Westminster, the Victoria and Albert Museum, and oversaw the State funeral of the Duke of Wellington. Among their private commissions the firm produced a celebrated suite of bedroom furniture for the late Sir Harold Wernher at Luton Hoo. Always at the forefront of fashion, Holland & Sons employed some of England’s leading designers and participated in all of the International Exhibitions of 1851, 1855, 1862, 1867, 1872 and 1878.