A rare English Regency period sarcophagus-shaped wine cooler or cellarette, in sabicu wood, designed in the Thomas Hope's 'Antiquarian' manner.
Why we like it
Its architectural simplicity combined with the sophisticated elegance make this design realy stand out. Its classically tapered body raised on corner acroteria feet, finely sculpted with anthemia (from the Greek ανθέμιον, a flower) evoke decorations of the Greek antiquity; this amazing piece would have certainly been intended for an interior as glamorous as Thomas Hope's own Duchess Street mansion.
In solid mahogany, venered in finely figured sabicu wood, raised on four carved acroteria feet, concealing brass castors. Original lock and linings to interior.
This cellarette was designed in the fashionable 'Antiquarian' taste, promoted by the pioneers of Regency design as Thomas Hope and George Smith, being inspired by forms from classical antiquity. The form of the base corresponds to a design for a foot-stool by Thomas Hope, illustrated in his Household Furniture and Interior Decoration, 1807, plate 29. A further comparable example of this design was supplied for the Boudoir at Southill and is shown in situ in F.J.B. Watson, 'Southill: Its Furniture and Decoration', Connoisseur, January-June, 1952, p. 16, fig. III.
Thomas Hope (1769–1831) was influential as a designer, design reformer and collector. A Dutchman, born in Amsterdam, Hope inherited from his family a tradition of collecting as well as vast wealth from the family bank. He was a collector on a grand scale and also an innovative designer of great genius who helped define what we understand as the Regency style.
His extensive Grand Tour travels in Europe, Greece, Turkey and Egypt inspired his interest in antiquities as a source of designs for Regency interiors, furniture and metalwork. He was determined to reform contemporary taste by returning architecture and the arts, including interior design and furniture, to what he conceived as the spirit of classical purity.
Regency Cellarette in the manner of Thomas Hope
Height: 19.5 in / 49.5 cm
Width: 26.25 in / 66.5 cm
Depth: 17 in / 43 cm