Face Screen in wood decorated in penwork C. 1815.
very fine screen, the outline and the decoration being mutually
one side we have a composition of neoclassical motifs. A central shell
is flanked by two dolphins. The dolphins are made up of metamorphosing
acanthus leaves and the shell could also stand for a fountain.
’s trident appears from the base of the shell.
leaves and berries emanate from the mouths of the fish and encircle
their scaly tails which in turn metamorphose into spreading leaves.
form of metamorphic classical design was a favourite in Renaissance
Italy and became a popular design in
during the neoclassical period.
On this screen the orchestration is
complex and shows a high degree of sophistication. The outline of the
screens is drawn with acanthus leaves in profile, matching the scalloped
edge of the wood. In between the central design and the periphery, there
are more laurel and berry branches loosely undulating and providing a
light tone against the austere formality of the main design and
surround. They also link up with the dolphins.
the other side the design is freer. We still have the acanthus framing,
but inside it there are two floral swags of wild roses, daffodils, small
flowers and leaves, all drawn in very fine lines in a naturalistic way,
hinting at movement and fragility. In the centre, between two plants
slightly reminiscent of Chinoiserie in their botanical improbability, a
mythical bird is pouncing on a rather small dragon. This side has an
element of fantasy mixed in with classicism and nature: all the ideas of
handles are wonderful. They are turned in wood, the top gilded, the
lower part carved and painted in dark green. The unexpected use of
colour is very much in the Regency tradition.
; Circa: 1815 ; Materials:
Size: Screen 24 cm
wide by 17.5 (at tallest) cm; handle 20 cm long: 9.5 inches wide by 7
inches; handle 7.8 inches.
refer to the above photographs for details of condition. Break and