An unusual early george III Mahogany cellarette of octagonal dome architectural form, uniquely retaining interior grisaille decoration

English. Mid Eighteenth Century.


Height: 27" (68.5 cm); Diameter 22 " (56 cm)

Of mahogany. The faceted octagonal domed top is surmounted by a gadrooned finial resting on a small stepped podium (which may be an extremely old replacement). The inside of the dome is papered and painted in grisaille gothic decoration to resemble a cathedral ceiling. The body of conforming octagonal form is mounted to the sides with finely cast gilt-brass swan neck handles. The whole raised on eight miniaturized ogee feet including one very old replacement and some repaired.

The present piece appears to be a unique example of a late George III cellarette formed as an item of miniaturized architecture. The most notable structure with octagonal dome is the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore, known informally as the Duomo di Firenze.

Given that the English were by far the leading Grand Tourists of the eighteenth century, it is plausible that the Duomo inspired the design of the present cellarette. Further evidence that the piece was conceived as miniaturized architecture is found within the interior of the domed lid. This piece is probably unique in retaining its grisaille painted decoration resembling a fan vaulted gothic cathedral ceiling.

This unusual item is also notable for being a particularly early example of the cellarette form, and technical experts in the art of furniture making have commented as to the great expertise required to fabricate the dome section of the present piece. 

Full research report available on request.

Full research report available on request.