EXQUISITE REGENCY BRASS INLAID ROSEWOOD CHIFFONIER
London c. 1810-20, in the manner of John McLean & Son (1770-1825)
Item # 512THP07W
Of precise and exquisite craftsmanship, this inordinately fine chiffonier is finished in gorgeous mellowed rosewood veneers. Intricate displays of brass work and scrolling satinwood stringer inlays flow across the top of the case, the border a complex display of a repeating brass S set in an ebonized ground. The top of the case is finished in a removable shelving unit flanked by brass columns and wire latticework; the ring turned brass columns, inlays and distinctive hardware is closely related to much of the work by the shop of John McLean in London. A pierced brass greek-key gallery frames the top of the shelf.
Both drawers retain their original gilt bronze lion mask pulls, opening to reveal cedar lined drawers with crisply hand cut dovetails; quarter moldings secure the corners of the inside of each drawer, both retaining their original locks (one key). Diamond stringer inlays flanked by fleur-de-lis around the lion mask pulls are framed by a stringer inlaid border with stepped corners. The precision of tiny stringer inlays along the columns, surrounding the doors, edging the bottom of the frame and surrounding exposed surfaces of the shelving reveals a practiced and capable designer at work.
The pair of cabinet doors are gorgeous displays of angular wire latticework backed by a neutral linen over a hand chamfered cedar panel, the two doors joining together with a molded brass applique sealing the gap between them. These open to reveal a tidy interior with stepped notching in the corners - this would allow a shelf to be easily adjusted inside of the case, though the shelf has since gone absent. The case rests over tapered legs terminating in lion’s paw feet of the finest casting quality - every hair, toenail, detail is perfectly captured in the feet. Every aspect of the structure remains entirely original.
John McLean’s shop in London operated continuously from before 1770 through 1825. His work was heavily inspired by the French, his shop advertised as excelling in “Elegant Parisian Furniture” and produced works of the highest quality that utilized gilded bronze and brass in a most tasteful manner. Among his most prolific creations are the beautiful writing desks and cabinets that employ exotic and vibrant woods with gilded metal and brass hardware and inlays. In his subscription to Thomas Sheraton’s Cabinet Directory of 1803, John McLean is listed as a “master cabinetmaker”.
For the serious collector of the best of the English Regency period, this is a most excellent acquisition.
Measurements: 44 3/4” H (to finials) x 42 1/8” W x 17 1/2” D
Some surface color variation, overall the mellowed rosewood a most pleasing color and even patination. Gentle bow to the bottom and top of the shelf unit. Original hardware, hinges, pulls, etc. Some lifting of the brass inlays, more noticeable on the left side of the top and along the base of the sides. Missing the shelf inside.