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- Curtains, Set of 3, Silk Velvet, Charles II-Style, Burgundy Damask Cowdray Park
Curtains, Set of 3, Silk Velvet, Charles II-Style, Burgundy Damask Cowdray Park
Each with a damask pattern of scrolling foliage, peonies, tulips and fruit. Massive pattern repeat, see image. Original braid. Cleaned and conserved.
Measures: Two height 315 cm., 124 in., width 107 cm., 42 in.,
One height 295 cm, 116 in., width 109.5 cm., 43 in.,
From the collection of the 1st Viscount Cowdray, Cowdray Park, Sussex, supplied by Lengyon & Co, circa 1910.
Francis Lenyon, Lenyon & Co, Lenyon & Morant Born in England in 1877, Lenyon was trained as a cabinetmaker and studied at the South Kensington Museum in London. By 1900, he found work with Art Workshops, Ltd., and soon after with Charles Duveen, son of Sir Joseph Duveen. Employed by C.J. Charles for several years, Lenyon became well-known as cabinetmaker to England's aristocracy. He opened his own firm, Lenyon & Co., in 1904, and in 1912 merged with Morant & Co., to become Lenyon & Morant, holding royal warrants under four successive British kings.
In 1910, Lenyon made his first visit to the United States to supervise the interior decoration of Whitlaw Reid, and soon opened a New York branch of his firm. As in England, Lenyon 's American clients were wealthy and sophisticated and relied on Lenyon to furnish authentic and reproduction interiors in period styles. In the 1930s, Lenyon was hired by Nelson Rockfeller to serve as a major consultant to the reconstruction of Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia, and selected all the furnishings for the Governor's Palace there.
Lenyon was widely known for his expertise in 17th and 18th century British furniture and interiors and lectured widely on the subjects. He served as president of the American Institute of Decorators and the Art and Antiques Dealers League of America. He was also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and the North British Academy. Lenyon died in New York City in 1943. He was survived by his second wife, Jeanette Becker Lennygon, whom he married in 1926. Jeannette was also a well-respected interior designer, best known for her redecoration of several rooms in the White House during John F. Kennedy's presidency and for the interior redesign of Gracie Mansion for New York mayor John Lindsay. She was also a founding member of the American Institute of Interior Designers. Jeannette died in Evanston, Illinois, in 1977.
The well-known firm of Morant and Company was established in 1790 by George Morant (d. 1846) at 88 and later at 91 New Bond Street, London. It continued to flourish and expand throughout the 19th century. Exhibitors at the Great Exhibition at the Crystal Palace in 1851, as well as New York in 1853 (as Morant and Boyd) By 1858 the firm was known as Morant, Boyd and Morant and they had moved to 81 New Bond Street. Exhibitors at the 1862 Great Exhibition of London. In that same year they supplied furniture to William Duckworth at Orchard Leigh Park, Frome, which was later sold at Christie's House sale, 21 & 22 September 1987. The company merged with Lenyon & Co in 1909, becoming, in their last incarnation, Lenyon & Morant.
Cowdray Park 'Cowdray. I settled the terms of purchase yesterday. Price £340,000. It is a big venture, but even if the oil does not prosper and we do not become more heavily involved than our present commitment... we cannot, I think, be accused of undue rashness in buying the property.'
Pearson's purchase included the splendid ruins of the great Tudor house, as well as its Victorian successor, which had been built by the Earls of Egmont: Pearson intended to replace this, referring to his investment in oil in Mexico as 'the trade that I am in - in my dreams - hoping will build the new Cowdray Castle and finish it with one year's earnings'. War, and perhaps wiser counsels, would prevail and the Cowdrays contented themselves with altering the Victorian house. A 'princely estate' by Pearson's own admission, Cowdray is steeped in history. Dating from the early 16th century, Cowdray was purchased from Sir David Owen by Sir William Fitzwilliam, a favourite of King Henry VIII, who obtained licence in 1532 to crenellate walls and towers on the site that had been hitherto known as La Coudreye. In 1542 it passed to Sir William's half-brother, Anthony Mary Browne, whose first son would become 1st Viscount Montague. King Henry VIII visited Cowdray on a number of occasions, as did Edward VI in 1552 (when he is reported to have complained on the food being too rich) - whilst Queen Elizabeth I's visit on her Royal Progress of 1591 was later depicted in an oil by James Pryde.
Arguably one of the finest Tudor houses in England, it was devastated by fire in 1793. Little is known of the original interior at Cowdray, save for some 18th century watercolours by a Samuel Hieronymous Grimm, which document the Buck Hall.
The Cowdrays as Collectors Cowdray Park House was built in 1874 and has been the family seat since 1909 when it was bought by Sir Weetman Dickinson Pearson, who became the 1st Viscount Cowdray. The first Viscount Cowdray and his wife were among the most prolific and discerning British collectors of the early 20th Century. The couple and their son, Weetman Harold Miller Pearson, the second Viscount Cowdray, bought most of the antiques and artworks in the Collection.
The family started out with a small company in Bradford, which became one of the most successful business empires of the 20th century and one of the largest construction companies in the world. The 1st Viscount Cowdray won a contract to drain Mexico City in 1889, and went on to develop vast oil fields in Mexico, accruing extraordinary wealth.
Charles II (In the style of)
GOOD. Wear consistent with age and use.
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