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Penwork Caddy with Quirky Decoration of European and Exotic Fusion. Circa 1820

Please click on images to enlarge

Reference: TC 108.

Description:
Penwork Caddy with Quirky Decoration of European and Exotic Fusion. Circa 1820.

Origin: United Kingdom

Circa: 1820.

Materials: Maple decorated with penwork, gilded brass 

Size: It measures 12 inches wide  by  5.2 inches deep and it is  7.3 inches  high: 30.5 cm wide by 13.1 cm deep by 18.5 cm high.

Condition: Good overall, Retains its original varnish, working lock with replacement key.

 

Penwork Caddy with Quirky Decoration of European and Exotic Fusion. Circa 1820. Enlarge Picture

The caddy is of subtle sarcophagus form and stands on original brass feet. The sides are decorated in bands of flowers, which although stylized, they also include a naturalistic flowing element. This is characteristic of the period: neoclassicism was still an integral part of the decorative tradition, but naturalism was beginning to soften the lines and liven the rigidity of some of the earlier motifs. It is still a long way from Victorian over indulgence in sugary prettiness.

The interior opens to an original bowl flanked by lift out  canisters also decorated in penwork.

The sides have the original handles of double horn-of-plenty, a very strong Regency motif, inspired by ancient wall paintings.

The top is most interesting in that it depicts oriental men and European women in an exotic landscape. Two of the men appear to be serving the ladies, one carrying flowers for them and the younger one bringing them a bird. The third man, who is wearing a wonderful hat is resting and observing. One of the women is gathering flowers. The scene hints at a very relaxed relationship between Europeans and Orientals. This is most unusual. On the whole chinoiserie scenes depicted only Eastern figures. European figures were either painted in naturalistic English country settings, or very rarely in classical poses.     

The back too has a most wonderful surprise: a very contended looking Griffin bird, with a hooked beak and eccentrically marked plumage, gazing at a pineapple-shaped urn. Only a Regency mind could have conceived of such an artifact!

The lids of the canisters continue the theme of mixed cultures. A beautifully dressed oriental man is trying to assist a European woman who appears not to be able to stop her overgrown brat from bawling his head off. 

On the other canister, an oriental child in contentedly playing in the exotic landscape, rolling a hoop with a stick.  

Enlarge Picture

The interior opens to an original bowl and canisters also decorated in penwork.

Please click on images to enlarge

There are lots of photos they can be seen in higher resolution by clicking on them. They can be viewed as a slide show in higher resolution.

Enlarge Picture

The sides are decorated in bands of flowers, which although stylized, they also include a naturalistic flowing element. This is characteristic of the period: neoclassicism was still an integral part of the decorative tradition, but naturalism was beginning to soften the lines and liven the rigidity of some of the earlier motifs. It is still a long way from Victorian over indulgence in sugary prettiness.

 

The sides have the original handles of double horn-of-plenty, a very strong Regency motif, inspired by ancient wall paintings.

Enlarge Picture

Please click on images to enlarge

Enlarge Picture

 

Enlarge Picture

The sides have the original handles of double horn-of-plenty, a very strong Regency motif, inspired by ancient wall paintings.

Please click on images to enlarge

The back too has a most wonderful surprise: a very contented looking Griffin bird, with a hooked beak and eccentrically marked plumage, gazing at a pineapple-shaped urn. 
Enlarge Picture

Only a Regency mind could have conceived of such an artifact!

 

Enlarge Picture

 

It measures 5.5 inches wide  by  3.4 inches deep and it is  4.7 inches  high: 14 cm wide by 8.5 cm deep by 12 cm high. Enlarge Picture

Detail: 

The top is most interesting in that it depicts oriental men and European women in an exotic landscape. 

Please click on images to enlarge

 

Two of the men appear to be serving the ladies, one carrying flowers for them and the younger one bringing them a bird. The third man, who is wearing a wonderful hat is resting and observing. One of the women is gathering flowers. The scene hints at a very relaxed relationship between Europeans and Orientals. This is most unusual. On the whole chinoiserie scenes depicted only Eastern figures. European figures were either painted in naturalistic English country settings, or very rarely in classical poses. 


Two of the men appear to be serving the ladies, one carrying flowers for them and the younger one bringing them a bird. The third man, who is wearing a wonderful hat is resting and observing. One of the women is gathering flowers. The scene hints at a very relaxed relationship between Europeans and Orientals. This is most unusual. On the whole chinoiserie scenes depicted only Eastern figures. European figures were either painted in naturalistic English country settings, or very rarely in classical poses. Enlarge Picture

 

 

Detail: 

The third man, who is wearing a wonderful hat is resting and observing.

Enlarge Picture

 

Detail of top: young man  in exotic dress bringing them a bird. 

Enlarge Picture

Please click on images to enlarge

Enlarge Picture

Detail: 

The back too has a most wonderful surprise: a very contented looking Griffin bird, with a hooked beak and eccentrically marked plumage, gazing at a pineapple-shaped urn. Only a Regency mind could have conceived of such an artifact!

 

Enlarge Picture

The lids of the canisters continue the theme of mixed cultures. A beautifully dressed oriental man is trying to assist a European woman who appears not to be able to stop her overgrown brat from bawling his head off. 

 

On the other canister, an oriental child in contentedly playing in the exotic landscape, rolling a hoop with a stick.  

There is a variation of this theme on the top of another penwork tea chest we have seen: 

Hygra: A Regency Penwork Three Compartment Tea Caddy circa 1820

Enlarge Picture

 

Enlarge Picture

 Inside the Canisters retain some of their original leading

Please click on images to enlarge
Enlarge Picture

The interior opens to an original deeply cut bowl.

 

Enlarge Picture

 

The gilded brass feet are particular to this period of the early 19th Century. 

See: A Rare Polychromed tea chest with scenes of oriental life Circa 1815-20

Enlarge Picture

Please click on images to enlarge

Enlarge Picture

 Detail: The sides have the original handles of double horn-of-plenty, a very strong Regency motif, inspired by ancient wall paintings. These are made of pressed brass and retain some of their original gilding. They have patented to a rich glow

 

Enlarge Picture

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All text and images and linked images are 1999-2006 Antigone Clarke and Joseph O'Kelly. If you require any further information on permitted use, or a licence to republish any material, email us at copyright@hygra.com