japanned bureau cabinet
An early 18th century japanned bureau cabinet sold by furniture dealer Godson & Coles at the BADA 2017 fair.

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The George I period double domed cabinet is lavishly decorated in scarlet and gilt with scenes of figures, foliage and birds. It stands 7ft 10in (2.4m) high and features two arched mirrored doors and a trio of carved silver gilt finials.

The piece is attributed to John Belchier who traded at ‘The sign of the Sun’ on St Paul’s churchyard from around 1712. He is believed to have supplied a similar piece for John Meller of the country house Erddig in 1720. The other example now belongs, like Erddig, to the National Trust.

The version sold by Godson & Coles came from the estate of Margot Irene Duke, Marchioness of Reading (1919-2015), a British aristocrat who was one of the first women to hold a pilot’s licence and wrote to The Spectator in support of English football hooligans.

Following the sale of the bureau cabinet, Richard Coles of the Fulham Road dealers said he felt ‘“amazingly positive” about BADA 2017. He said the fair was busy every day and believed the association is now “on a roll”.

The newly rebranded annual fair organised by BADA ran from March 15-21 at Duke of York Square in Chelsea, London.