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Friday, June 22, 2012

A PAIR OF REGENCY BRASS-INLAID LABURNUM AND EBONY BOOKCASE CABINETS ATTRIBUTED TO GEORGE BULLOCK


Height 7ft. 11in.; width 38in.; depth 18in
Each with grille-inset door and later internal hinged glazed door opening to a white-painted interior with adjustable shelves
$ 125,000.

George Bullock was a major and influential early nineteenth century cabinet maker, and although he only had a short life he had a spectacular career. He was a highly talented individual who gained a reputation firstly as an artist of note and later as a cabinet-maker. He was renowned for the speed that his furniture was produced and the quality achieved, especially in refined and elegant inlay work. These are both tributes to his dynamism and entrepreneurial skills.

Bullock was based in both London and Liverpool. He moved to Liverpool first as his brother, William, was established on Church Street as a museum promoter. It was here that he met William Stoakes for whom he went into business with as a cabinet maker and general furnisher. This was the first time that he started designing and making furniture.

In 1810 his brother moved to London to create his famous museum in the Egyptian Hall in Piccadilly. George quickly followed and put the contents of his premises up for sale. Once in London he opened in 1813 'Bullock, George, Upholsterers' on the same site as his brother museum before moving to the Mona Marble Works on Oxford Street with his new partner Charles Fraser.

Whilst practicing as an artist, Bullock, sculpted in both marble and wax. The use of marble continued in his furniture designs. He also incorporated gilt metal ornamentation and ebony marquetry within the pieces. Bullock's portfolio included a wide range of exotic woods which, together with his inimitable style, produced a particularly recognizable "signature" to his work. The originality and advanced character of his designs, some in the French style, are amply demonstrated by the fact that G.J. Marant's work in precisely the same style - but produced twenty-five years later - looked equally up to date for the 1840's.

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