An Homage to Homegrown: Native materials in the furniture of George Bullock

An Homage to Homegrown: Native materials in the furniture of George Bullock

From the estate of Jasper Gibbons Grinling, Helions Bumpstead, Essex, comes a pollard oak centre table attributed to one of the most celebrated English cabinetmakers of the Regency period, George Bullock (c.1777-1818)

9 November 2022

George Bullock (c.1777-1818) is one of the most celebrated English cabinetmakers of the Regency period, and those pieces made or designed by him during the early part of the 19th century are particularly recognisable by the abundance of British flora in their ornament and the often used native timbers such as oak, yew, holly, larch and laburnum, in place of the more exotic woods that were so favoured by other leading makers of the time.

A Regency pollard oak, yew and ebony centre table attributed to George Bullock

This example, constructed from pollard oak, yew, and ebony, closely resembles several examples that have come to market in recent years, the most notable of which being an example supplied to Matthew Robinson Boulton at Tew Park, Oxfordshire in 1817, which was sold most recently at Christie’s, 'Important English Furniture', 27 November 2003, lot 160

A Regency pollard oak, yew and ebony centre table attributed to George Bullock

A Regency pollard oak, yew and ebony centre table attributed to George Bullock

The ‘honeysuckle’ pattern for the inlaid border on the table was likely used for the first time on a desk stand that was purchased by Queen Charlotte in 1812 and, according to Murray, it appears in the 'Wilkinson Tracings', a scrapbook into which a wide range of tracings and engravings were pasted or loosely inserted, inscribed to the first page ‘Tracings by Thomas Wilkinson, from the designs of the late Mr George Bullock 1820'. These impressions are considered to be one of the most important sources regarding Bullock’s work and were acquired in 1974 by the City Museum and Art Gallery in Birmingham. To date, there is very little evidence with which to identify Thomas Wilkinson or work out how he had access to the original designs.

Design for marquetry on table (no. 33), Wilkinson Tracings, in J Murray and H Blairman & Sons, 'George Bullock Cabinet Maker', 1988, p.96.

Design for marquetry on table (no. 33), Wilkinson Tracings, in J Murray and H Blairman & Sons, 'George Bullock Cabinet Maker', 1988, p.96.

Another close example (Christie's, 'The English Collector' , 21 May 2015 , lot 121) which, as per Ackermann’s 'Repository of Arts', is described as being in the ‘French antique taste’ and is suggested to have possibly come from Bullock’s workshop. It has an identical turned column and base and is noted to bear a black wash to the undersides, which is said to be characteristic of his work; the same wash appears beneath the present example.

Viewing of the 6 December Fine Interiors sale will take place at our Stansted Mountfitchet salerooms, from Friday 2 - Monday 5 December, with the live auction to take place on Tuesday 6 December with in-room and online bidding available.


For further information, please contact: fineinteriors@sworder.co.uk 

 

 

 


 

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