BUREAU PLAT ATTRIBUTED TO EDWARD BALDOCK HOLMES REF No. 3011
H: 29 1/4 in / 74 cm ; W: 59 1/2 in / 151 cm ; D: 30 1/4 in / 77 cm
A fine 19th century Louis XV style Walnut, Ebony and floral marquetry Bureau Plat in the manner of Edward Holmes Baldock, the serpentine shaped top inset with a panel of tooled leather within a border of scroll work and floral trails, the corners with shell and cabochon and foliate clasp mounts, above two frieze drawers decorated with floral marquetry and similar opposing dummy drawers, on cabriole legs applied with scrolling foliate and rocaille mounts trailing to sabots.
Edward Holmes Baldock (1777-1845) is documented in London Trade Directories of the period in various capacities but first appears listed at 7 Hanway Street, London in 1805 described as a '..dealer in china and glass'. But by 1826 the various facets of the business included '..buying and selling, exchanging and valuing china, cabinets, screens, bronzes etc'. Baldock's business seems to have largely involved trading in foreign items and between 1832-7 he was the purveyor of earthenware and glass to William IV and later purveyor of china to Queen Victoria from 1838 until his death. He is known to have repaired, re-modelled and adapted furniture, often 18th century pieces, but he also designed furniture in an impressive array of styles. However the offered lot is an example of his most favoured Louis XV style.
It is likely that there is a strong connection between the manufacture of such marquetry pieces as the present lot and the Blake family of inlayers. The fashion for this type of inlay was popularised by the Tottenham Court Road inlayer and buhl manufacturer Robert Blake in the 1820s. By the 1840s the firm were trading as Blake, Geo. & Brothers, inlayers, etc' in Tottenam Court Road and Mount Street, Mayfair and were renamed George Blake & Co. sometime in the 1840's, see C. Gilbert, Pictorial Dictionary of Marked London Furniture, 1700-1840, Leeds, 1996, p.18; and M.P. Levy, Furniture History Society Newsletter, no. 158, May 2005.