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Summers Place Auctions are the world's leading auctioneers of Sculpture and Design for the House and Garden.

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Garden & Natural History Auction 20th and 21st September 2016

This is Lot Number 6

20 Sep 16 An unusual Coade stone corner pilaster capital

Estimated Price:
£3,000 - £5,000

now fitted out as a corner console table, the underside with impressed mark Croggon London 1832
58cm.; 23ins high by 76cm.; 30ins wide

Mrs Coade in the 1784 Descriptive Catalogue of Coade's Artificial Stone Manufactory shows a number of capitals and pilasters for both interior and exterior use. The London 1774 Building Act provided great opportunities for the Coade firm. The Act reduced exterior woodwork to the absolute minimum in an attempt to make houses as nearly incombustible as possible. Wooden porches and other decorations were banned, and window frames were set behind the embrasure, with very narrow glazing bars. As Sir John Summerson pointed out in Georgian London (p108-110) some form of fireproof decoration was needed, if house fronts were not to become intolerably boring and repetitious and this is exactly what the Lambeth factory was able to supply in great variety with everything from capitals to keystones.

In 1813 Mrs Coade's partner John Sealy, died. Since by now she was too old to manage the factory and so she took on William Croggan, who was in some way related to her aunt. Following Mrs Coade's death in 1821 Croggan bought the factory. One of his innovations was the manufacture of interior scagliola often in the form of columns and pilasters, all of which required a capital often in Coade stone. One of his biggest commissions was for the Duke of York at Buckingham Palace, which due to a dispute over unpaid bills ultimately lead to the firm's bankruptcy in 1833, the year after this pilaster capital was made.

This is Lot Number 6

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