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Partners Harvey Ferry and Willie Clegg, who for decades have operated as The Country Seat, always come up with interesting and varied shows at their magnificent medieval tithe barn and, while recently they have made a number of successful forays into the later 20th century, with this month’s exhibition they are back on their familiar territory of ‘Signed and Designed’ exhibits – important Victorian and Edwardian works by major designers meticulously researched by messrs. Ferry and Clegg.

The cabinet of the show’s title, dated c.1875, is indeed a grand statement of late Victorian furniture design, an ebony and ivory, mirrored, marquetry tour de force in the Renaissance manner, 10ft 5in tall and 8ft 7in wide (3.18 x 2.62m).

Definitely not to everyone’s taste, but unarguably impressive, the cabinet was constructed for the Victorian self-made tycoon John Lewis, a carpet manufacturer who was happy to flaunt his wealth at his grand home, Savile Hall, near Halifax in Yorkshire.

For the cabinet, he chose the largest and most prestigious cabinetmakers of the day, Jackson & Graham of 37 Oxford Street, famed for the prizes they had won for their furniture in the international exhibitions of Paris and Vienna.

The firm’s top designer, Alfred Lormier was charged with constructing the cabinet and it is estimated that the piece took four men two years to make. It bears Lewis’s initials on the tablet between the arched pediments with miniatures of his wife and three daughters below.

Alongside the cabinet will be a variety of works in various materials, including the output of renowned designers Talbert, Godwin, Waterhouse, Jeckyll, Pugin, Eastlake, Wallis and Dresser.

On the subject of Dresser, concurrent with the selling show The Country Seat mounts a loan exhibition of a private collection Dr Christopher Dresser and his influence, which marks the centenary of the great man’s death in 1904.

Returning to the selling exhibition, among the notable designer works are a c.1879 oak Aesthetic table attributed to Alfred Waterhouse, priced at £5800, and a Gillow walnut writing table which featured in the 1851 Great Exhibition and today costs £32,500.

Away from the furniture look out for a pair of metalwork wall lights fashioned as dragons, designed by Thomas Jeckyll and now priced £8500, and a shagreen, silver-mounted box by John Cooper, made by the Artificers Guild and reviving the use of shark-skin, a material much prized in the 17th and 18th centuries.