- W.102:1 to 7-1978
- Carried out by
- Tatham, Charles Heathcote (http://data.silknow.org/activity/designer)
- 54.5 cm (depth)176.5 cm (height)111 cm (width)
- Production time
- Production place
- Type of object
Tall bookcases with solid doors in the bottom half and glazed doors in the upper section were quite common in British furniture of around 1800. This example is unusual in that it is low, decorated with Classical busts and inlaid with ebony.
The Prince of Wales (later King George IV) was given Carlton House as his official London residence in 1783. He began a programme of building and decoration which continued until the demolition of the house in 1826. As the site sloped, the building contained rooms with low ceilings, including the library, below the principal floor on the garden front. In 1806 the library was provided with new furniture at a cost of £820 3s, which included a set of ebony and ivory bookcases with matching tables, and four of these bookcases.
William Marsh (active 1775-1810) and Thomas Tatham (1763-1818) were partners in a very successful firm of cabinetmakers and upholsterers. They carried out major commissions for the Prince of Wales at Brighton Pavilion and at Carlton House. C. H. Tatham (1772-1842), brother of Thomas, was sent to Rome by the architect Henry Holland (1745-1806) in 1794 to collect Classical fragments. Tatham's drawings of these, published as Etchings of Ancient Ornamental Architecture in 1799-1800, provided designers and craftsmen with ideas for furniture and other pieces in the Neo-classical style. BOOKCASE ENGLISH; 1806 Pollard yew inlaid with ebony, bronze, and ormolu mounts; statuary marble slab. Supplied in 1806 by Marsh and Tatham of Mount Street for the Prince of Wales at Carlton House, and bearing the inventory mark of George IV. [pre October 2000] Bookcase, Marsh & Tatham for Carlton House, English; 1806