Lord Byron Cellarette & Portrait, ca. 1810

Value (2014) | $21,000 Auction$31,500 Auction
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GUEST:
I purchased it from a friend of mine, and he handled the affairs of a couple from England. They had some very beautiful things, and this was something that I managed to latch onto. I knew that, um, just by association, this would be something special.

APPRAISER:
Quality pieces.

GUEST:
Yes.

APPRAISER:
Okay. This is a very fine quality, early Regency cellarette.

GUEST:
Mm-hmm.

APPRAISER:
Made about 1810. Typical of the Regency period. We see these beautiful crossbanded edges here, crotch-figured mahogany on this dome top. It's the best quality.

GUEST:
Wow.

APPRAISER:
And as we go down the front, we have a wonderful satinwood inlay escutcheon hole, this beautiful molding. Look at that wood again. It's all book-matched. And then palmettes, Egyptian style, from the Regency. They did a lot of these in the Regency style. Reeded legs on casters. So it was a movable wine cooler. And we open it up, we can see here inside these dividers, of course, to hold the wine bottles. So these are used in the dining room. Now, what's really interesting about your cellarette is this history inside. What do we have here?

GUEST:
We have a newspaper account from, I believe, 1898, and more or less describes the lineage of this piece and also asks for information, if anyone can help the writer, to further their knowledge of the piece.

APPRAISER:
Okay, and here we have a "movable gardevin," "round-topped, brass claws"-- which would be feet-- "and handles and running on casters." And here we have "Byron's gardevin, 1898" and it mentions "from the Newstead sale."

GUEST:
Yes.

APPRAISER:
Now, Lord Byron is one of the great Romantic period poets. He was born George Gordon Byron, 1788 to 1824. At the age of ten, his great-uncle died, and he became Lord Byron. He inherited an incredible estate-- this huge castle... He was known as a character. He had a pet bear. He was outrageous, eccentric. He wore the wildest clothes. After going to school in Cambridge, he went to this castle and threw wild parties. He apparently had a skull...

GUEST:
Lived like a rock star.

APPRAISER:
He had a skull that he passed around and people could drink wine out of it.

GUEST:
Oh, the chalice, right. Which I mean, the wine could have maybe come from this...

APPRAISER:
That's right, that's right. And you brought along a portrait of Byron. This is a period circular portrait and he was a handsome guy. One of the ladies who had a love affair with him at one time, Lady Caroline Lamb, once said he was "mad, bad and dangerous to know." (laughing) And she wrote that the first night she met him. So he was quite a character. But he died young. Only lived till 34 years old, but during his life, he did some amazing things. Without the provenance, as a Regency mahogany cellarette, great quality, auction estimate would be $6,000 to $12,000. What did you pay for it, by the way?

GUEST:
I think it was right in that neighborhood-- $6,000, $6,500.

APPRAISER:
Okay, but given all the history, this could be an auction estimate in the range of about $20,000 to $30,000. This little portrait alone is worth about $1,000 to $1,500.

GUEST:
That's amazing. That is truly amazing.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Leslie Keno Art Advisory
Waccabuc, NY
Update (2014)
$21,000 Auction$31,500 Auction
Appraised value (2008)
$21,000 Auction$31,500 Auction
Event
Chattanooga, TN (July 19, 2008)
Period
19th Century
Material
Mahogany

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