Adam’s At Home sale – which takes place this Sunday, August 23rd, at its St Stephen’s Green saleroom, and online – features a number of pieces by noteworthy British furniture designer David Linley.
The second Earl of Snowdon, nephew of Queen Elizabeth, Linley began his career at a workshop in Dorking after two years at Parnham House School for Craftsmen in Wood, having studied under the renowned furniture designer John Makepeace.
In 1985 he opened his eponymous company (now known simply as Linley), which has created bespoke furniture for Elton John, Valentino and the Lebanese-Saudi socialite Mouna Ayoub – who is reputed to own the world’s largest collection of haute couture and never wears the same piece twice.
Prices for Linley’s creations come with designer price tags – his Alba sofa costs £78,000 – with a basic sofa costing almost £6,000.
“The price difference between new and second-hand Linley furniture is significant, and this is an opportunity to buy a piece of his furniture at a fraction of what it costs new,” says Amy McNamara of Adam’s.
The three lots by Linley, which come from a private Dublin collection, include an unusual large circular ottoman, with a central timber reserve and padded seating in cream fabric (lot 216, €400-€600); a pair of oversized armchairs in duck-egg blue damask that are so deep and comfortable they are more than likely to send you to sleep (lot 133, €1,200-€1,800); and lot 143, a two-seater sofa (220cm wide and 104cm deep) which is listed at €1,000-€1,500.
The catalogue of 350 lots also includes a selection of period sofas and chairs in different styles, including the cover lot which is a handsome Irish rosewood upholstered three-seater settee from 1830 in the manner of Mack, Williams and Gibton (lot 120, €1,500-€2,000) and a George IV mahogany-framed bergere sofa with carved foliate motifs (lot 147, €1,200-€1,800).
For smaller spaces the sale lists lot 224, a lovely mahogany boat-shaped window seat on scroll legs, which is well priced at €250-€400, along with a good selection of dining, library and occasional seating.
With the advent of autumn there are a number of brass club fenders and fireside accessories to suit all budgets, including two George III brass classical fire grates which would make a handsome addition to hearths of period homes (lots 131 and 129, €800-€1,200 apiece).
Also in the mix are a number of silver brooches by Danish designer Georg Jensen (€150-€250) and the highlight of the silver offerings is a rare George III Irish silver samovar from Dublin 1803, with the mark of Robert Breading, standing at 50cm high (lot 30, €3,000-€4,000).
Curiosities include a 2,500-year-old shabti figure, which would have been used as a funerary figurine in an ancient Egyptian tomb. These were placed among the items buried along with the body and intended to act as servants for the deceased, in case they were called on to do manual labour in the afterlife.
Though produced in large numbers, shabti, along with scarabs, are the most plentiful of Egyptian antiquities to survive; at an estimate of €100-€200 for a piece that dates back to the rule of Xerxes the Great, this would make a great purchase for someone starting a collection.
The lot that is garnering most interest is a Chinese carved wood model of a hunting dog. “It has gathered interest and momentum over the past two weeks,” says Ronan Flanagan of Adam’s fine art department of the canine in recumbent pose dating from the Qing dynasty of 1644-1912.
“The animal form and carving is indicative of an early style, and dogs have been immensely popular in Chinese artworks and paintings since the celebrated series of paintings Dogs of the Imperial Court by Jesuit missionary Giuseppe Castiglione during the 18th century.”
With an estimate of €800-€1,200 for the wooden dog and the interest it is attracting, it’s a reminder of mankind’s passion for our four-legged friends.
And it was not just the ancient Chinese who lauded these animals. Doug the Pug was named the most influential pet of 2018. With over 13 million collective followers on social media, earning his owner an annual income of near $500,000, it appears our interest in man’s best friend still continues to this day.