I have previously shown how the decoration of Uppark, West Sussex, was influenced by the Grand Tour of Sir Matthew Featherstonehaugh and his wife Sarah. However, there is a also a strong strand of chinoiserie in the house.
In the Little Parlour, for instance, there is an extraordinary English japanned cabinet which combines East Asian features with inset Italian pietra dura panels and ivory plaques brought back by Sir Matthew. Based on its similarity to certain designs by Mayhew and Ince and Chippendale it probably dates to the late 1750s.
There is also a mahogany breakfast table incorporating a chinoiserie fretwork cuboard in this room, from about 1765. The wallcovering would originally have been Chinese wallpaper depicting birds roosting among flowering branches.
As I have mentioned before, I always find it astonishing how easily various styles were combined in the mid-eighteenth century. There was clearly no need for a any paradigm shifts when you could have a paradigm buffet.
The Little Drawing Room contains a giltwood pier-glass of about 1755 in chinoiserie Rococo style. It can be linked to a c. 1752 design by Matthias Lock.
The walls of this room were originally hung with gilded leather, and twelve ‘Black Chaires’ – possibly japanned – were also recorded here at that time. The English japanned cabinet dates from the late 1750s.
In the Red Drawing Room, moreover, there is a pair of commodes attributed to Pierre Langlois, probably from the early 1760s, which incorporate panels of Chinese lacquer. The pier glasses above them, by contrast, do not have any East Asian influences, but it is fascinating how they nevertheless form a visual whole with the commodes.