Doyle described the sale on their website:
“The well-appointed room is attractively equipped, artfully arranged and composed with a level of sophistication and comfort. Grand without being ostentatious, the well-appointed room is comprised of edited pieces that have history and purpose and that promote conversation and further study. Edith Wharton used the phrase often when she wrote about the stylish homes where her characters resided. The well-appointed drawing rooms in Wharton’s novels were stylishly decorated and consisted of quality pieces that were timeless and evocative of a bygone era.
“The Well-Appointed Room section of the auction comprises almost 200 lots of furniture and decorations from Jonathan Burden, LLC and John J. Gredler Works of Art, and globes and other articles from George Glazer Gallery. Through the vision of acclaimed interior designer Jeffrey Bilhuber, these renowned taste-makers create their own version of today’s Well-Appointed Room.”
An English 18-inch terrestrial floor globe (London, c. 1807) provides the centerpiece of our selection. This globe was dedicated by its makers, W. & T. M. Bardin, to Sir Joseph Banks (1743-1820), who served as president of the British Royal Society, the world’s oldest science academy now celebrating its 350th anniversary. One can imagine Banks’ vast and varied Georgian library in his residence at 32 Soho Square in London, resplendent with his curated collections of books, art, artifacts, and natural history specimens relating to the latest discoveries of the 18th Century.
Although Banks was very much a man of his times, in 2010 we can still relate to his wide-ranging curiosity about science, natural history, and the yet unexplored corners of the world, while appreciating the art and design of earlier centuries. In drawing inspiration from a man of the Age of Enlightenment like Sir Joseph Banks, today’s collector might enjoy our selection of botanical (scientific and horticultural), bird, and butterfly print sets in the sale. Indeed, Banks was a prominent botanist and advised King George III on the design of the Royal Gardens at Kew. A globe would also be appropriate — many of Banks’ scientific discoveries were made when he accompanied Captain James Cook on the historic expedition aboard the H.M.S. Endeavour in 1768-71. Today’s world traveler might equally enjoy owning a world or celestial globe — and the George Glazer Gallery has included a variety in this sale. As a member of the Society of Dilettanti, perhaps Banks would have liked our set of four Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720-1778) prints of ancient Roman artifacts, also in the sale. As a member of that Society, Banks would presumably have been interested in the aesthetic appeal of his room. Likewise, a person designing his or her own room in the 21st Century can build on an interest in interior décor and the history of art with our prints and decorative objects.
The George Glazer Gallery is offering exemplars of decorative, interesting, and historically relevant art and objects for the homes of Doyle New York’s clients. Items have been chosen with an eye toward creating the modern version of Wharton’s “Well-appointed Room,” imbued with the history and great design of the past — an enriching, intriguing and above all, a pleasant place to be.