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An Exceptional Figured Rosewood Tea Chest Inlaid with Fine Mother of Pearl by R.  Dalton C 1835

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Description: http://hygra.com/uk/n11/631TC 

Ref: 631TC
Tea chest in highly figured rosewood of architectural form by R Dalton of the Bazaar, Soho Square. The chest  is finely inlaid with mother of pearl which depicts stylized flora ; the chest  is standing on turned rosewood feet having turned drop handles. Inside the tea chest there are two liftout hinged canisters (retaining most of their original leading) and a particularly fine cut lead crystal bowl. Circa 1835

Origin: UK, R.Dalton Bazaar, Soho Square;  Circa: 1835; Materials: Rosewood, inlaid with mother of pearl on a pine carcass with mahogany linings .

Size: 32 cm wide by 16.5 cm by 18.5 cm:  12.6  inches  wide by  6.5 inches by 7.3   inches.

Condition: very good overall; working lock and key; see images

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Tea chest in highly figured rosewood of architectural form by R Dalton of the Bazaar, Soho Square. The chest  is finely inlaid with mother of pearl which depicts stylized flora ; the chest  is standing on turned rosewood feet having turned drop handles. Inside the tea chest there are two liftout hinged canisters (retaining most of their original leading) and a particularly fine cut lead crystal bowl. Circa 1835  Enlarge Picture

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The shape of this caddy combines elements and influences characteristic of the nineteenth century. It is structured in an architectural form combining tapered and pyramid lines which make this caddy a strong statement of the robust and elegant style of the late Regency and early Victorian.
Figured rosewood is the most prized cabinet wood of this period. The figuring of the wood in this caddy which contrasts dark and light striations is particularly striking.

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The drop handles are turned from solid rosewood. The turned escutcheon is in Mother of pearl. The main body of the caddy sits on a base which is edged in gadrooned rosewood. The top part is also gadrooned. These decorative edgings were made on a lathe and attached to the box.

The caddy stands on four turned rosewood feet.

 

 

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Veneered in rosewood and inlaid in mother of pearl, a material used in the later part of the Regency period. To be more precise we are moving into the era of George IV and William IV. The form is in the established Egyptian inspired tradition.

Note the fine detail of the mother of pearl inlay.

 

 

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This is mother of pearl inlay at its best. The accuracy and exactness of the cutting are unbelievable. There is no apparent use of filler. There is no room for a fret saw to have cut the mother of pearl and rosewood. The resulting inlay is fluid and light of touch in unyielding materials.

 

The  mother of pearl inlay is particularly fine. The pieces of mother of pearl are small adding to the difficulty. 

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The interior contains two lift out containers also in rosewood. The lid is lined in rosewood as are the facings and the bowl holding compartment.

The interior bottom part of the caddy is lined in mahogany which is edged in rosewood.
The lift out containers are of solid rosewood construction and retain most of the original lead lining.

 

 

The bowl like the caddy is in the typical form. This is deeply cut.

This bowl is the original heavy hand blown crystal sugar  bowl.

 

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The chest is labeled:

R. DALTON
Portable Writing Desk, Fancy Cabinet, and Pocket Book Manufacturers:

Counters 201, 202, 203, 205, 237, 238 Ground Floor

Bazaar, Soho Square

Ladies Toilet & Scent bottles, Fancy Cutlery &c.

Another, slightly later Chest by Dalton (Quadrant, Regent Street London) is illustrated at: http://hygra.com/b/tcrwmop.htm

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Robert  Dalton, Address unrecorded subscribed , chairmaker,  subscribed to Sheraton's  Cabinet Dictionary (1803)

The BAZAAR in Soho Square was the brainchild of John Trotter and first opened in February 1816.

The bazaar, 'a well known oriental term for a kind of fixed fair or market', (ref. 63) was to be, so Trotter claimed, an institution 'founded on . . . benevolent and patriotic principles' and not a gratuitous charity. Through its offices 'the industrious . . . may hope to thrive; reduced tradesmen may recover and retain their connexions; beginners may form friends, connexions, and habits, before they encounter more extensive speculations; and artists, artizans, and whole families, employed at home, although infirm or in the country, may securely vend their labour to advantage by proxy'From: 'Soho Square Area: Portland Estate: Nos. 4-6 Soho Square', Survey of London: volumes 33 and 34: St Anne Soho (1966), pp. 57-59.

The interior of the disused warehouse was laid out with stalls and counters arranged on two floors of the building in the manner of a closed market. The vendors hired their selling spaces by the day and there were stringent rules for the conduct of business, but everything was conducted on the 'fairest and most liberal plan'. The goods sold consisted chiefly of millinery, gloves, lace, jewellery and potted plants. From: 'Soho Square Area: Portland Estate: Nos. 4-6 Soho Square', Survey of London: volumes 33 and 34: St Anne Soho (1966), pp. 57-59.

The interior layout of the bazaar was described in considerable detail by the Reverend Joseph Nightingale in his pamphlet The Bazaar, published in May 1816 to advertise this novel institution. The ground floor was occupied by one large room hung with red cloth and large mirrors and solidly furnished with mahogany counters; two of the back rooms, called the grotto and the parterre, were both decorated with climbing plants; there was a kitchen providing meals for the vendors, with 'a stove of a peculiar construction sending forth two distinct columns of heat' to warm the rooms. Another feature of the establishment, and that an unexpectedly modern one for an early nineteenth-century shop, was a ladies' dressing-room. From: 'Soho Square Area: Portland Estate: Nos. 4-6 Soho Square', Survey of London: volumes 33 and 34: St Anne Soho (1966), pp. 57-59.

See: www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=41032

www.victorianlondon.org/shops/bazaars.htm

 

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The Structure of this type of tea chest is complex. The carcass wood is quartered pine. The facings are mitered  rosewood..  The is lined with mahogany.   

 

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The entire inner structure slides out. It is not glued in. It is faced to the top edge with a rounded bead of rosewood.  As the carcass the  lining is from quartered wood for structural stability. 

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The lift out containers are of solid rosewood construction and retain most of the original lead lining.

 

 The canisters have the same fine Mother of pearl Inlay Framed with a line of pewter.
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All text and images and linked images are 1999-2011 Antigone Clarke and Joseph O'Kelly. If you require any further information on permitted use, or a licence to republish any material, email us at copyright@hygra.com