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    Description

    An English paneled room in the style of Robert Adam

    Unknown maker
    19th century
    Painted wooden panels, doors, glass and iron fireplace
    Unmarked
    10 feet high x 23 feet wide x 25 feet deep
    Robert Adam was one of the premier architects and decorators in 18th-century England. His influence spread to the American colonies, became adopted and was further known as the 'Federal' architectural style so prominent in many New England building exteriors and interiors that exist today. His architectural styles have been re-produced all over the world, including this example based on the tenets of Adamesque design with slight modifications made to accommodate nineteenth century taste.

    The approximately 23 feet by 25 feet room consists of three walls and an archway entrance, the walls adorned with large mirrors and panels with a period 39" x 40" fireplace at the back wall. The walls measure over 10 feet in height and the single door is 36" x 83." Both the walls and door have carved panels above and below a chair rail molding that extends around the room.

    The signatures of Adam's style and form appear most markedly at the detail and composition of the pilasters that appear all around the room - at the fireplace, in the doorway and at the entrance flanking the archway. Adam took the, at the time, daring step of combining the Ionic, Doric and Corinthian orders together in devising the capitals and entablatures for the pilasters. The narrowly fluted columns have tall bases and are seen in many of Adam's works.

    Beside the elaborate fireplace with identical pilasters the designer placed another element common to Adam's work. On the cornice above an oval mirror is an anthemion, or honeysuckle device surrounded by palmettes. The niches on either side of the fireplace are a fixture in Adam's architectural interiors as well. A cornice identical to that over the door graces the top of the fireplace works.

    The series of running flowers that surround the fireplace in a festoon continue around the room and are a decorative effect that brings the room together. The massive mirrors, each measuring 64" in height give the room a sense of greater size with a ballroom effect. The archway, massive at 141," also gives the room a more expansive feel. On the cornice appears the anthemion device again with two pilasters at each side of the archway. In essence it is a larger, repeated effect as seen at the fireplace where an identical device is above the fireplace cornice. The walls of the room are painted in a sea foam greenish blue, perhaps in keeping with the nature of Adam's relationship with Josiah Wedgwood and his use of Wedgwood medallions in some of his designs.

    A native of Fife, Scotland, at the age of 20 Adam worked with his brothers in the family architectural firm. After a few years he embarked on the Grand Tour of Europe and studied architecture in France and Italy. It was in Rome that he became fascinated with the architectural style of the ancient Romans, a style that he adapted and refined into one of his own that became known as 'Adamesque', a neo-classical form that challenged the conventions of the time. His success in England can only be described as monumental as he became arguably the most famous British architect of the 18th century with his influence on style being felt worldwide. He designed some of the most noted buildings in England, both public and private, including his redesign of the interiors of Syon House. He died in 1792 and was honored by burial in Westminster Abbey.

    This room was deconstructed from an English home and brought to the United States to be part of a sale of historic interiors. It was then acquired by Trammell Crow in 1970.

    Provenance:
    Golden Movement Auctions, Los Angeles (1979)


    Condition Report*: Condition report available upon request.
    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Some condition issues may not be noted in the condition report but are apparent in the provided photos which are considered part of the condition report. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2007
    13th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,181

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $9) per lot.

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