Spencer House lecture: Furniture of the Gilded Age by Dr Ulrich Leben
Mon 18 Sept 2017, 6.30pm
Spencer House, 27 St James’s Place, London SW1A 1NR
The pinnacle of artistic and technical ability and unequalled in its quality, Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild’s collection of French 18th-century furniture was assembled to furnish Waddesdon Manor.
Ulrich Leben will introduce pieces by the greatest chairmakers and ébénistes – Cressent, Riesener, Dubois, RVLC and Dubois. Waddesdon’s collection contains the most important single group of works by the royal cabinetmaker Jean Henri Riesener, many originally created for the Palace at Versailles. The Manor’s furnished interiors also display the UK’s most significant collection of furniture adorned with Sèvres porcelain plaques, remarkable in both their number and originality of their mounts and combinations.
Other highlights include lesser known, but equally rare, examples of painted and lacquered or carved French furniture. Ulrich Leben is Associate Curator of Furniture at Waddesdon, Visiting Professor at Bard Graduate Centre, New York, and has recently published ‘Empire Style: The Hôtel de Beauharnais in Paris’, with Jörg Ebeling.
The lecture will take place on Monday 18 September 2017 at 6.30pm. It will be followed by drinks and an opportunity to look at the restored fine 18th-century State Rooms at Spencer House.