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  • Posts Tagged ‘R. STRAHAN AND CO.’


    Monday, October 9th, 2023
    Pair of George II Carved Giltwood Armchairs, Circa 1760. UPDATE: THESE SOLD FOR $152,400

    This pair of Irish George II carved giltwood armchairs, one bearing the label R Stahan and Co., come up at Sotheby’s in New York on October 17 as part of a sale of Classic Design: Furniture, Silver and Ceramics. They are estimated at $100,000-$150,000. The chairs may have been commissioned by Charles Moore, 1st Earl of Charleville, an Irish peer and wealthy owner of large estates in County Limerick and Charleville Forest in County Offaly, who died without issue in February 1794, the estates passing to his nephew John Bury in 1764, who would himself pass away only six months later, leaving his newborn son Charles William as heir. Charles would become an Irish MP and later peer and was made Earl of Charleville 2nd creation in 1806. He used his large fortune to commission the architect Francis Johnston (d.1829) to erect a new house on the Charleville estate between 1800 and 1812 in the form of a medieval castle. Following the death of the 5th Earl without issue in 1875, Charleville Castle and its contents passed to his sister Lady Julia, who had married Captain Kenneth Howard-Bury (1846–1885), and their son Charles would inherit the estate in 1931.

    Charles Kenneth Howard-Bury was a colourful character from the waning generations of the Anglo-Irish elite. Following his education at Eton and Sandhurst he joined the army and was sent to India, where he developed a taste for exploration, learnt Hindi and Urdu and went on tiger and crocodile hunting expeditions. After distinguished service in Flanders during World War I he returned to India and went on the first British expedition to Mount Everest, where he described wolves’ footprints in the snow that were mistranslated as belonging to an ‘Abominable Snowman’, thus giving rise to the expression for the first time. On his return to Ireland he resided at Belvedere House, a lakeside Palladian villa designed by Robert Cassels in 1740 inherited from his cousin Charles Brinsley Marlay in 1912. Whilst serving in the army during World War II, Howard-Bury met the RAF pilot Rex Beaumont (1914-1988) who became his companion and settled in Ireland after the war. A former Shakespearean actor informally known as ‘Sexy Rexy’, Beaumont and Howard-Bury became prominent local figures and entertained lavishly, their guests reputedly including Princess Grace of Monaco, the Crown Prince of Sweden, Charlie Chaplin and Elizabeth Arden.

    The sale includes two pieces attributed to William Moore, a c1780 demi lune side table ($30,000-$50,000) and a c1790 demi lune commode ($50,000-$80,000).

    An Irish George III Harewood, Tulipwood, Burr Yew and Sycamore Marquetry Demilune Commode attributed to William Moore of Dublin, Circa 1790. UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR $20,320