W.R. Harvey & Co. (Antiques) Ltd
Archive of news from Harvey's
Irish Luck, Fresh Stock, Strawberries and Cream
Posted by David Harvey, Friday 13 May 2011
I am delighted to announce that several more fresh pieces are now available. Amongst these is a rare George III period Irish Wake Table. These are always supposed to have been Irish as examples often have come from or have a connection to Ireland. It appears that many of the grander Catholic households in the 18th. Century would have owned a table such as this and kept it either in the attic or cellar for the occasion of someone's demise when it would have been brought out and placed in a reception room with the coffin on it for people to come and pay their respects. Once the coffin had been removed for interment, the flaps would have been raised and all the food and drink for the wake placed on the table for after the funeral. The length at 93" (236 cms) suggests that whoever this was made for was truly a giant amongst men - or is this someone who had kissed the Blarney Stone?
Having been to Ireland on a couple of occasions, I can give absolute testament to the Irish ability to enjoy a good party or wake. This table is a huge oval which can comfortably seat 8 for dinner, is executed in solid Mahogany and is the first Wake Table I have had in stock for some years.
One of the other fine pieces now available is a wonderful Regency Mahogany and Ebony Partners' Pedestal Desk. Take a look as it really is a great piece. Larger than most it must have been made for an important Library or even the Estate Office on a major estate.
It would hardly be News Item from Harvey's without the magical words "Gillows of Lancaster" creeping in somewhere. A few years ago I had a delightful Gentleman's Dressing Table by Gillows and I have recently acquired what is virtually the pair to it. I have illustrated this under Tables as well as cabinets. When you look at this you will see why it is under both headings. Also putting in a first appearance is a delightful George III Period Mahogany Longcase Clock by Thomas Law of London and I do hope you will agree this is a particularly elegant example.
Here in Witney, a scorching April, reputedly the hottest and sunniest ever recorded has given way to May which is uncharacteristically changeable giving us April showers a month late. The strawberry crop is looking to be magnificent and massive with excellent prospects for strawberries and cream at Henley Royal Regatta (and Wimbledon fortnight as well as Ascot). The forecasters have so far avoided hinting whether or not we shall have a summer to rival 1976 when the government of the day appointed a special minister for the drought and large parts of the country could only access water from standpipes. (The good old days?)
Things are all coming together now for the summer fairs with Botleigh Grange next week and the June Olympia just a month away. I hope to see you at one or other of the fairs and look forward to your further news in any event.