21 February 2018

George Gage with two attendants by Anthony van Dyck


By Hilary Maddicott (As published in the British Art Journal, Vol. XVIII, No. 2, Autumn 2017)

Anthony Van Dyck’s portrait in the National Gallery, London, catalogued as showing George Gage with two attendants, has been acclaimed as an ‘ambitious and innovative’ production of his early years (Pl 3).1 In this unusual ‘conversation piece’, displaying the lively interaction of three figures, Van Dyck portrays the principal subject of the paintings: a youngish man, wrapped in a stylish black cloak, in a pose conveying the innate grace, but also the skilfully-crafted nonchalance, or sprezzatura, of a courtier.

2 February 2018


By Michael Archer / Timothy Wilson (As published in Keramos, Vol. 210, October 2010)

Now set into a fireplace at Firle Place are thirteen painted tiles, evidently the remains of one or more large-scale tile pictures. These twenty-two tiles in total, one of which is dated 1546, are survivals from an ambitious commission; they are described here for the first time in affectionate tribute to our friend, mentor, and colleague John Mallet, to whom both authors have too many debts for enumeration here.

7 August 2017


By Jack Metcalfe

Hawkins’ exemplary conservation of the Panshanger Cabinets took five months to complete (October 1983 to February 1984). Damaged marquetry was skilfully lifted and repaired. Also, missing tulipwood cross-banding had to be sourced and matched in figure and colour to blend with the existing veneers, so that on my visit to Firle Place in 2007 I found it impossible to spot the new from the original.

21 July 2017

The Panshanger Cabinets in Context

By James Lomax

The attribution of the two cabinets at Firle to Thomas Chippendale Senior’s workshop was confirmed by the late Christopher Gilbert in 1978 on stylistic grounds and also because of their provenance, despite the lack of bills or other primary documentation. They were part of the remarkable furniture supplied by Chippendale to Sir Penistone Lamb, created 1st Lord Melbourne in 1770, and his wife, the spirited Elizabeth Milbanke of Halnaby, Yorkshire, for Melbourne House, Piccadilly (now Albany) and Brocket Park, Herts.