As we prepare for the opening of our summer exhibition, Great Provenances: Exceptional Antiques from Notable Collections, we thought it was fitting to have a brief travel back to last summer when we hosted our exhibition, Gilded: Golden Treasure of Georgian Furniture.
For the exhibition last summer, we ran a series entitled ‘Anatomy of an Exhibition.’ We covered the exhibition from a variety of angles, including starting at the beginning, identifying the time and place, making the catalogue, and providing updates during the exhibition’s run at the gallery. We also highlighted the press coverage we got during the exhibition here and here.
One of the finest examples of gilt gesso furniture we have in our collection is this exceptional George I gilt gesso settee. The frame is decorated throughout with outstanding carved gilt gesso detailing, the back and seat are upholstered in eighteenth century French silk damask, and the arm supports are boldly outswept with curled terminals. The gilt gesso seat frieze is further embellished with scrolling foliage and circular punchwork background, and the whole stands on elegant cabriole legs further decorated with acanthus leaves and surmounted by shells, and the legs terminate in pad feet similarly decorated.
This settee was previously in the collection of the esteemed antique dealers Norman Adams. In the book 18th Century Furniture: The Norman Adams Collection, this settee is featured and is described as ‘one of the most unusual items of gesso furniture recorded.’