TREDEGAR House in Monmouthshire has welcomed back this miniature piece of George I walnut thanks to a series of grants led by the Art Fund.
It was only on page 9 of ATG No 1898, July 11, that we reported its sale for £58,000 at Bonhams. Now it turns out that the London dealer was bidding on behalf of a group of benefactors who covered the premium-inclusive price of £69,600 as follows: The Art Fund - £34,140; the MLA/V&A Purchase Grant Fund - £24,360; The Friends of Tredegar House - £6100; and the Beecroft Bequest - £5000.
At just 4ft (l.24m) high, it captures in miniature the grand architectural style of country house furniture and is thought to have been commissioned around 1720 for Sir William Morgan (1700-31), part of the Morgan family who lived in the house for over 500 years, finally leaving in 1951.
The cabinet was sold six years later by Christie's. Then or shortly after, reckoned the auctioneers, it entered the vendor's family appearing in 1962 in the CINOA International Art Treasures Exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum.