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A George I black-japanned and parcel-gilt bureau cabinet in the manner of John Belchier. circa 1725

the underside of the top section bearing a paper label with an 18th century inked inscription Long . . . . . Decoration extensively restored, later molding and underframing to base, feet later, fitted with later mirrors to the doors.  228.6 cm; 104.1 cm; 57.8 cm. Estimate 50,000—70,000 USD. Lot Sold 104,500 USD

NOTE: This bureau cabinet bears similarities to the work of John Belchier, a cabinet-maker recorded at The Sun, on the south side of St. Paul's Church Yard in 1717 until his death in 1753 at the age of seventy. Some of his furniture bear trade labels, including one cut as either a square or circle and alternatively spelt 'Bel-Chier' or 'Belchier.' A more informative rectangular label, headed by his shop sign - an ornamental sun - appears on the reverse of a burr walnut bureau cabinet sold Sotheby's, London, November 14, 1980, lot 30. It notes that Belchier was a maker of 'fine Peer and Chimney-Glasses, and Glass Sconces, Likewise all Cabbinet Makers Goods.'

Belchier, whose name is thought to reflect Huguenot origins, was possibly the son of another important craftsman, also John Belchier, who may well be the tradesman who worked extensively for Ralph, 1st Duke of Montagu, at Boughton House, Northamptonshire, during the latter part of the 17th century. John Belchier, the younger, received his most significant commission from John Meller at Erddig, Wales, for whom he produced a celebrated suite of gilt and silvered gesso furniture during the 1720s (cf. Martin Drury, 'Early Eighteenth-Century Furniture at Erddig,' Apollo, July 1978, pp.46-55). In the 1730s he also carried out important work for the Purefoy family at Shalston, Buckinghamshire. In addition to cabinet work, Belchier also produced both clear and mirrored glass. Records reveal that he supplied a quantity of glass for St. Paul's Cathedral in the 1720s and in all likelihood he manufactured the glass for his own furniture.

A comparable japanned bureau cabinet by Belchier survives at Erddig, whilst another, attributed to Belchier, and with a double-domed top was with Phillips, London, June 22, 1999, lot 51.

Sotheby's. A Celebration of the English Country House. 09 Apr 09. New York. www.sothebys.com photo courtesy Sotheby's