REGENCY! Day 21 of 21.
HOPE! A newly discovered pair of carved & bronzed limewood griffin wall lights, c 1802. Designed by the English Regency designer, Thomas Hope, as part of the furnishings of his grand Robert Adam-designed residence in Duchess Street, London.
Design illustrated plate l.LIII Household Furniture (1807)
Another, THOMAS HOPE Regency Designer. Edited by D Watkin & P Hewat – Jaboor. Catalogue to exhibition, V&A London 2008 pp 430-1.
Another identical pair, retaining original back plates & nozzles, collection of Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (image 6). UK origin c 1802.
31cm x 18cm x 27cm high.
Thomas Hope was born in Amsterdam in 1769 into a wealthy Dutch banking family of Scottish descent, settling in England around 1796 after an eight-year grand tour including Egypt, Turkey, Greece and Italy.
In 1799 he bought a house designed by Robert Adam in Duchess Street, London, which he remodelled with a series of themed interiors. The interiors of Duchess Street and of Hope’s country house, Deepdene, played a unique role in the history of collecting, interior design and display. Both were open to visitors. His furniture reached an even wider public through his book, Household Furniture and Interior Decoration. Published in 1807, introducing the term ‘interior decoration’ into the English language.
Hope’s influence continued long after his death. His designs appeared in trade journals and pattern books and though the Duchess Street house was demolished in 1851, its contents were taken to The Deepdene where they remained accessible to the public.
In 1917 his collection was dispersed in a great sale at The Deepdene. This led to a renewed interest in Hope’s achievement, for objects designed by him were bought by collectors, dealers and museum directors in Europe and the USA. Items travelled as far afield as Tasmania, including part of a suite of ‘Egyptian’ furniture now in the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney. Hope’s style influenced the Regency Revival of the 1920s and ’30s, and even Art Deco.
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