Stock Code: 2202
Description: A fine pair of Regency brown oak hall chairs, attributed to George Bullock. The top rail of rectangular form with a pair of crisply carved armorial crests of a sceptre with wings and a lion. The chair back of scrolled form with a tapering rectangular seat adorned with hanging semi-circular turned swags with a ball tip. The chairs are supported by tapering turned, fluted legs to the front and curved tapering turned legs to the rear. The chairs of excellent quality throughout retaining fine original colour and patina.
Further Information: The crests are those of Freeman and Heathcote probably for Sir Thomas Freeman-Heathcote (1769-1825), 4th Baronet of Hursley. Sir Thomas is known to have executed an extensive programme of modernisation at Hursley Park, near Winchester in the early 19th century so it is most likely that these chairs were commissioned as part of that scheme. These chairs are of similar design to a pair of hall benches supplied by George Bullock to Matthew Robinson Boulton for Great Tew Park, Oxfordshire in 1817.
George Bullock was a major and most influential early nineteenth century cabinet maker, and although he only had a short life he had a spectacular career. He was a highly talented individual who gained a reputation firstly as an artist of note and later as a cabinet-maker.
Bullock was based in both London and Liverpool. He moved to Liverpool first as his brother, William, was established on Church Street as a museum promoter. It was here that he met William Stoakes for whom he went into business with as a cabinet maker and general furnisher. This was the first time that he started designing and making furniture. In 1810 his brother moved to London to create his famous museum in the Egyptian Hall in Piccadilly. George quickly followed and put the contents of his premises up for sale. Once in London he opened in 1813 'Bullock, George, Upholsterers' on the same site as his brother museum before moving to the Mona Marble Works on Oxford Street with his new partner Charles Fraser. He stayed at these premises until his death in 1818, while aged in his early forties and the artist Benjamin Robin Haydon referred to his turbulent but successful career: "George Bullock was one of those extraordinary beings who receive great good fortune and are never benefited by it, and suffer great evils, and are never ruined, always afloat but never in harbour." Whilst practicing as an artist, Bullock, sculpted in both marble and wax. The use of marble continued in his furniture designs. He also incorporated gilt metal ornamentation and ebony marquetry within the pieces. Bullock's portfolio included a wide range of exotic woods which, together with his inimitable style, produced a particularly recognizable "signature" to his work. The originality and advanced character of his designs, some in the French style, are amply demonstrated by the fact that G.J. Marant's work in precisely the same style - but produced twenty-five years later - looked equally up to date for the 1840's (see fig 1 & 2). Whilst most of his furniture was Neo-Classical in style, some was Gothic, Elizabethan and Jacobean and he developed these styles far beyond other designers. In Bullock's short career he under took three major commissions, that of Great Tew Park, Cholmondely Castle and Abbotsford. These plans were to reflect the contemporary change in comfort and convenience that had taken place since the eighteenth century.
Condition: Excellent. Minor restorations, waxing.
Country of Origin: England
Origin/Age: English, Regency, George III, circa 1820.
Provenance: Probably made for Sir Thomas Freeman-Heathcote, Hursley Park, Winchester. Latterly from the collection of Will Fisher, London.
Maker: Attributed to George Bullock
Dimensions: Height 33.50 inches (85.09cm) Width 17.50 inches (44.45cm) Depth 16.50 inches (41.91cm)