Attributed to Samuel Norman (1718 – 1779)
ENGLAND, circa 1760
The gadrooned rim above two brass bands edged with beading and entrelac, with ram-mask-ring handles to each side, the stand with a fluted frieze and beaded and entrelac edge above cabriole legs with foliate cloven hoof feet on castors, with a later metal liner, numbered in white paint ‘1547’.
Literature: Country Life, July 14th 1906, Hornby Castle, just visible in the window bay in a photograph of the Great Hall at Hornby. (‘Hornby Castle, Yorkshire, The seat of the Duke of Leeds’, Country Life, July 14th 1906, p.57) – see image below.
Moss Harris, A Catalogue and Index of Furniture and Works of Decorative Art, Vol III, (circa 1930), illustrated on page 465.
This wine-cooler belongs to a distinguished group attributed to Samuel Norman of Soho, London; all conform to the same basic pattern but vary in details, particularly the mounts. The Metropolitan Museum has a version which includes additional mounts to the legs (Gift of Irwin Untermyer, 1964 Accession Number: 64.101.889).
Among the closest parallels are the pair supplied to Sir Lawrence Dundas by Samuel Norman circa 1764 (A. Coleridge, ‘Sir Lawrence Dundas and Chippendale’, Apollo, September 1967, p. 165, fig. 8), sold by the Marquess of Zetland from 19 Arlington Street at Christie’s sale, 26 April 1934, lot 76, either these (or an almost identical example) are photographed in situ at 19 Arlington Street in 1902 (John Cornforth, London Interiors, London, 2000, p. 56-57). They were sold again from the estate of the Late Edmund Vestey, Sotheby’s, London, 4 June 2008, lot 185 (£1,049,285 including premium). Another virtually identical example is in the Gerstenfeld Collection (E. Lennox-Boyd, ed., Masterpieces of English Furniture: The Gerstenfeld Collection, London, 1998, p. 225, cat. no. 66).
Samuel Norman (1718 – 1779): An eminent carver and gilder, Samuel Norman began his work as an apprentice carver and gilder to Thomas Woodin from 1746-1753. Following his marriage to Ann Whittle, daughter of the cabinet-maker James Whittle, in 1755 Whittle and Norman became partners in the business ‘Whittle & Norman’. With Whittle’s death in 1759, Norman then went into partnership with Paul Saunders’s Royal Tapestry Manufactory in Sutton Street, Soho. In 1763, Norman was given a royal appointment as ‘Master Carver in Wood’ to George III’s Board of Works. In the same year, he was described as ‘Sculptor and Carver to their Majesties; and surveyor of the curious carvings in Windsor Castle’ and was introduced to Sir Lawrence Dundas by his architect Robert Adam (d.1792) (P.A. Kirkham, ‘Samuel Norman: a study of an eighteenth-century Craftsman’, Burlington Magazine, vol.111, 1969, pp. 501-513). The recognised fine quality of Norman’s work ensured continued patronage from the upper echelons of London society. Norman worked for such patrons as the Duke of Bedford, Sir Lawrence Dundas, the Earl of Holderness, Sir Herbert Pakinton, as well as being extensively employed at Windsor Castle.