Fine Pair of George III Ormolu-Mounted Mahogany Pedestal Cupboards
one with a deep drawer above a cupboard, the other with a cupboard, the fronts applied with elaborate gilt-bronze mounts in the form of sickles and ears of wheat, the friezes with guilloche flanked by urns, the doors flanked by chains of husks, the mahogany cross-banded in tulipwood, originally designed to flank a sideboard or dining-room serving-table though they would serve as very smart bedside tables
Displayed here with a fine pair of contemporary ormolu mounted urns, of the sort which these pedestals would have originally supported and which were kindly loaned by Michael Lipitch Antiques.
John Peach Hungerford (c.1719-1809) is recorded having furniture decorated with wheat, which along with sickles made up his family crest , designed and supplied possibly by Thomas Chippendale for his house, Dingley Hall, Northamptonshire, in the 1770s/1780s. This large suite, comprising twelve armchairs, two sofas and a pair of card-tables, all carved with the wheat crest, was bought, with Dingley Hall, by Hugh Richard Dawnay, 8th Viscount Downe, in 1883. It was later transferred to Wykeham Abbey, the Downe seat in Yorkshire and, later still, sold. Some elements of the suite were again sold at Christie’s New York, two pairs of the armchairs in October 2010 and one of the card tables in December 2014. The card-table had previously been sold at auction at the Anderson Galleries, New York, in 1936, at which sale it was acquired by Judge Irwin Untermeyer. Given the telling presence of wheat and sickles on the present pedestals, it seems entirely possible that they were made for the dining-room at Dingley Hall.
The present pedestals were also in America at one time and were sold from the collection of Robert Woods Johnson IV, current US Ambassador to the Court of St. James. It is probable that he inherited them, and they may have been acquired by his father , grandfather or great grandfather, one of the fraternal founders the Johnson & Johnson pharmaceutical company
Three clasped ears of wheat is also the crest of the Mitchell family.