A pair of Regency brass mounted rosewood side cabinets attributed to John McLean & Son.
Note: The water gilding to the carved paw feet has been refreshed and the marble tops are of later date.
It is rare to find true pairs of cabinets of this type and the consecutive numbering I-IV filed into the back of the mounts leaves little doubt about them being a pair. Identical from the front, each mount differs slightly at the back in their individual fixing points which are added by hand. The numbering I-IV of mounts used in pairs on each cabinet is proof that they were conceived as a pair of cabinets. Otherwise the numbering would have been repeated I-II on the first cabinet and I-II on the second cabinet.
The attribution to the McLean workshop is also based on the mounts. Research by the late Simon Redburn and published in Furniture History journal highlights that the McLean workshop monopolised certain brass mounts which include the ornate truss mounts and the mask centre mount. These mounts were not used by any other cabinet maker and are workshop specific for McLean. It is also worth noting that McLean often combines the use of brass mounts with the use of parcel gilded areas. Feet, legs or stretchers on furniture by the McLean workshop are invariably gilded or have parcel gilt elements.
Margaret Jourdain and F. Rose, English Furniture, the Georgian Period 1750–1830, 1953, p. 150, fig. 119.
Simon Redburn, John McLean & Son, Furniture History journal 1978, pp. 31-37, plates 32-45.
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