9766 A RARE PAIR OF GEORGE III PAINTED TWO TIER JARDINIERES English. Last Quarter Of The Eighteenth Century. Measurements: Diameter: 18″ (45.7 cm) Height: 31 1/2″ (80cm)
Of painted wood. The tops fitted with original copper liners and having neoclassical hand-painted scenes around the circumference above a tapered shelf with gallery and hand-painted scene raised on four tapered painted legs terminating in bronze-capped feet.
18th-century jardinieres, or plant holders, would often succumb to water damage over time, and the present delicately decorated examples are rare survivals of this neoclassical type of furniture from the latter part of the century. “Adam, Hepplewhite, and Sheraton gave fresh impetus to the vogue for painted furniture”1 and the finely painted designs on furniture often corresponded directly with the architectural features within a room. Neutral colors and classical moldings of interiors, in combination with painted furniture, “enabled decorators such as Adam to achieve the unification of complete interior schemes very accurately.”2
“When the piece was to be wholly coloured it was usual to select some neutral hue such as white, slate, grey or dull green, pick out the less important features of the design in lines of colour…and then garnish the main portion of the design by such painted details as the decorator saw fit. Classic medallions and plaques, wreaths, festoons and urns were the subjects generally employed for embellishment.”3 The painted decoration on the present plant stands contains several of these elements, particularly the inclusion of painted plaques in imitation of the Wedgwood medallions, which were used as embellishments on walls and chimney pieces. The pair of stands would have complemented a subdued neoclassical interior scheme popular in the late 18th century.
The purple color and faux porphyry of the pieces is particularly unusual and noteworthy. This color and the marble represented are both attributes of Imperial Roman regalia.
1. Eberlein, Harold Donaldson and Abbot McClure. The Practical Book of Period Furniture. Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott Company, 1914. 318.
2. Edwards, Clive. Eighteenth Century Furniture. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1996. 107.
3. Eberlein, 322.