CHARLES FRANCIS ANNESLEY VOYSEY (1857-1941)
TABLE SECRETAIRE, CIRCA 1900
oak and inlaid macassar ebony, the projecting moulded cornice above a tapered carcass with rectangular fall, with applied heart-shaped escutcheon, inlaid with three macassar panels, further inlaid in ivorine, stained gesso and mother of pearl and depicting birds and flowers, opening to reveal an interior fitted with pigeonholes and supported by brass stays with heart-shaped brackets, above an open shelf; cabinet comes with original key, the terminal worked as entwined hearts
45.5cm wide, 50cm high, 30.5cm deep
Literature: John Brandon-Jones ''C.F.A. Voysey: architect and designer 1857-1941)'', page 135, ref E5, E12, pages 67-74
Note: As a designer Voysey paid meticulous attention to detail, designing every aspect of a project whether architectural or in the design of a piece of furniture as with the current lot. His characteristic heart shaped motifs can be seen in the escutcheon, the brackets of the beautifully shaped stays on the fall and in the key which is wrought with four entwined hearts. The escutcheon was probably made by Thomas Elsley & Co of the Portland Metalworks whilst the key was likely to have been supplied by W. Bainbridge Reynolds.
The simple, clean lines of the carcass are typical and hold true to his design ideals. In 1909 he stated 'Simplicity in decoration is one of the most essential qualities without which no true richness is possible. To know where to stop and what not to do is a long way on the road to being a great decorator.' More unusual perhaps are the macassar ebony panels which are inlaid with a depiction of his characteristic bird and flower motif and which lend to the piece a more luxurious quality
Sold for £85,250 (buyer's premium included)