Imagine, if you will, walking into your house on a fine spring day. Sun is streaming through the French doors and your dining room is suffused with light. You lay out fresh strawberries and vintage champagne flutes in preparation for the arrival of some friends for a birthday celebration.
You pause and stand for a moment, contemplating your surroundings. The mirror is a focal point for the room, reflecting daylight and the soft flicker of candles in the evening. Its historic English origins (for this is after a design by the celebrated cabinetmaker Linnell) are complemented in the fine buffet, dining chairs and dining table which were carefully collected over time.
Above the buffet, you review the three framed panels showing exotic birds. They were a gift from someone dear who knows your library has many volumes on ornithology. The elaborate chocolate toned chair below is a delight. Inspired by a George III original it has oriental overtones and adds a touch of Chinoiserie glamour to the scene. It is hand painted but still used every time there is a need to seat an extra guest, for you bought it to last.
Beyond is the drawing room and you’re pleased with the way the Chinoiserie chair and Aviary panels complemented the Victorian inspired standing screen. Many times you have paused before it to admire the deft brushwork and incredible detail of the painted scenes. The centre table to the right is a work of art. Evoking the elegance of the Regency period, it is named after Chawton, the village where Jane Austen lived with her sister Cassandra. The octagonal top has a pleasing symmetry but it is the brass inlay which drew you to it initially. Fine hand cut pieces of brass glint and glitter when the sun reaches this room in the early afternoon.
Lastly, your eyes fall on the present you have carefully selected for your guest, a fellow collector of Theodore Alexander. You smile in anticipation. You know they’ll love it.
Clockwise from top left: The Linnell C-Scroll Mirror, The Regency Tea Tray, Donwell Buffet, Regency Urn, Jewelled Facets Lamp, Utrecht Aviary Panels (three of a set of six), Gilt Bellflower Chair, Chinoiserie Scenes Screen, Water Nymph II Bust, Lion Head Vase, Chawton Centre Table, Gabrielle Armchair and Dining Chair, Gabrielle’s Table, Cavetto Moulded Box.