Furniture: ‘Inspired by Antiquity’ Highlights Thomas Hope

Posted in Art Market, books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on January 26, 2011

From a Carlton Hobbs press release:

Inspired by Antiquity: Classical Influences on 18th- and 19th-Century Furniture and Works of Art
Carlton Hobbs, New York, 20 January — 14 February 2011

One of a pair of wall lights in the form of a griffin, related to a design by Thomas Hope, bronze, ca. 1802

The opening night reception, on January 19th, benefited the Sir John Soane Museum Foundation. Tim Knox, the Soane Museum’s eminent director, lectured on the subject of the exhibition and elaborated on some of the highlights on view. “We are honored to have Sir John Soane’s Museum Foundation as the opening night beneficiary,” said Carlton Hobbs. “We are particularly enthusiastic to present forty magnificent pieces inspired by antiquity, including the important group of Thomas Hope pieces from the Philip Hewat-Jaboor collection of Regency furniture and works of art,” he said. “It is the single largest collection of Thomas Hope pieces to come onto the market since the Christie’s auction of the contents of Deepdene, Hope’s country estate, in 1917.” Thomas Hope, the fabulously successful banker, connoisseur collector and designer, revolutionized British taste of the late 18th, early 19th century with his radical, classically inspired design ideas and came to be one of the key figures shaping the Regency taste.

In the continuous effort to deepen our understanding of the decorative arts of the 18th and 19th centuries we wanted to further explore the visual and philosophical inspirations that gave rise to the multitude of fascinating designs, which are now broadly described as Neoclassical,” said Stefanie Rinza. “We are thrilled to collaborate with some of today’s leading academics in identifying the ancient design sources for our pieces and in interpreting the symbolism of the decorative devices used. We hope our clients, colleagues and friends will much enjoy the catalog accompanying the exhibition.

Carlton Hobbs is most grateful for the contributions and collaboration of some of today’s leading experts in the field of decorative arts and in the compilation of the catalog accompanying the exhibition, including Martin Levy, former chairman of the British Antiques Dealers Association, author and specialist in 19th-century furniture and works of art, Tim Knox, Director of the Sir John Soane Museum, Philip-Hewat Jaboor, the authority on Thomas Hope and independent art consultant to private and institutional collectors, and John Hardy, the long-time director of Osterley Park House Museum, who added his insights into the meaning of the symbolism of the classical design elements to every entry.