The Wright & Mansfield Satinwood Cabinet
Superb Satinwood,Ormolu and Gilt Cabinet with Wedgwood Plaques A superb Satinwood Breakfront Cabinet by Wright and Mansfield, designed by Crosse in the Adam Revival style. The galleried superstructure supported by four reeded gilt columns with carved gilt acanthus details above three frieze drawers with a central Wedgwood green jasperware plaque , the base with three cupboard doors each with a further Wedgwood plaque depicting Greek philosophers, cupids and winged figures and flanked by classical gilt reeded Doric Columns and raised on a plinth base. The whole piece is elaborately inlaid in harewood, boxwood and other stained woods in the neo-classical manner with bell-flowers, ribbons, swags and urns. Wright and Mansfield were one of the most prominent of Victorian Furniture makers in England producing the very finest pieces in the Adam and Sheraton Revival styles. They were established at 184 New Bond Street between 1860 and 1886 and were described in "The Cabinetmaker and Art Furnisher" Vol. II as "... the leaders of that pleasing fashion which was happily brought back into our houses many of the charming shapes of the renowned 18th. century cabinet makers." Their comparable medal winning cabinet exhibited at the Paris Exposition Universelle of 1867 was the only piece of British furniture to be awarded a Gold Medal. It was praised for the high quality of its materials and workmanship and seen as "very English" due to the use of Satinwood and Neo-classical decoration. It was acquired in 1868 by the Victoria and Albert Museum to show its visitors the difference between 18th. century furniture and nineteenth century reproduction pieces of the highest quality. The V&A Cabinet was designed by a Mr. Crosse of whom nothing further appears to be known. The similarity between this cabinet and the V&A example is so striking with the same decorative motifs, timbers and identical Wedgwood plaques that a common authorship is not in doubt and there is the strong probability that the two pieces were made as part of a suite of furnishings.