Treasures of The Huntington Library

Treasures of The Huntington Library

February 15, 2017

Whilst in Los Angeles, we took time to explore one of America's finest collections of fine and decorative arts - The Huntington Library in San Marino. This vast and important collection is a must to see for any 18th century furniture enthusiast, and here is a few notable examples of English and Irish furniture from the Huntington.

 

The Huntington was founded in 1919 by Henry E. Huntington, an exceptional businessman who built a financial empire that included railroad companies, utilities, and real estate holdings in Southern California.

Detail of a fine George II side chair, one of a set of four at the Huntington Library.

Fne George II side chair, one of a set of four at the Huntington Library, English or Irish, c. 1730-40

An extremely fine George II period mahogany armchair, of gigantic proportions, one of a pair at the Huntington Library, English or Irish, c. 1730-40.

Detail of the fine George II period mahogany armchair pictured above.

Detail of the fine George II period mahogany armchair at the Huntington Library

Detail of the fine George II period mahogany armchair at the Huntington Library

Detail of the fine George II period mahogany armchair at the Huntington Library

Detail of the fine George II period mahogany armchair at the Huntington Library

Detail of the fine George II period mahogany armchair at the Huntington Library

Detail of the fine George II period mahogany armchair at the Huntington Library

An extremely fine George II period mahogany armchair, of gigantic proportions, one of a pair at the Huntington Library, English or Irish, c. 1730-40.

A fine Queen Anne walnut and ormolu-mounted needlework side chair, one of a suite, showing a strong Dutch influence in its design

An important Irish George II period side table, c. 1740-50

A fine Queen Anne walnut and ormolu-mounted needlework armchair, one of a suite

Detail of an important Irish George II period side table, c. 1740-50

A very fine Regency mahogany, ebonized and ebony inlaid cellarette, in the Egyptian taste

Detail of the Regency mahogany, ebonized and ebony inlaid cellarette, pictured above

A splendid George III period giltwood armchair in the French taste, by John Linnell, c. 1770

Regency giltwood console table, in the manner of Thomas Hope

A fine pair of Regency period chairs by Morel and Hughes

Superb Regency period Wedgwood urn on pedestal in the antique Roman manner

Detail of a fine Wedgwood relief in the antique Roman manner

An important George III ormolu-mounted rosewood and marquetry commode by Pierre Langlois, c. 1760-65. Its bold architectural forms suggest that it was possibly designed by an architect for a certain commission, and, the Roman-trained Sir William Chambers, architect to George III, who prided himself as a connoisseur in the design of furnishings, may have been responsible for this design.

Marquetry detail of the magnificent commode by Pierre Langlois.

Sarah Barrett Moulton: Pinkie, Thomas Lawrence, 1794

Executed when the artist was only 25 and shortly after his election to the Royal Academy, Pinkie is an extraordinarily fresh and lively performance. Called "Pinkie" by her grandmother who commissioned the portrait, she was only eleven when her likeness was taken. Sadly, Sarah died within a few months of the portrait's completion.

Detail of a fine neo-classical giltwood torchere, one of a pair

The Blue Boy, (1770) by Thomas Gainsborough (1727-1788) Widely considered his finest work, it is thought to be a portrait of Jonathan Buttall (1752–1805). It is a historical costume study as well as a portrait: the youth in his 17th-century apparel is regarded as Gainsborough's homage to Anthony van Dyck, and in particular is very close to Van Dyck's portrait of Charles II as a boy. The portrait changed hands several times before it was eventually purchased by Henry Edwards Huntington for a sensational $728,800 (£182,200) in 1921. Before its departure to California in 1922, The Blue Boy was briefly put on display at the National Gallery where it was seen by 90,000 people.