An Important Pair of Irish George III Harewood and Marquetry Demi-Lune Console Tables, by William Moore of Dublin
Height: 32.5"One: 49" x 20"The Other: 47" x 19.5"Depth: 20"
Inventory Number 8106-889
Each D-shaped top inlaid with a radiating fan paterae within a broad satinwood border enclosing alternating flowerheads, over a frieze with simulated fluting; raised on square tapering legs inlaid with bellflower pendants and headed by oval panels.
William Moore of Dublin (most active 1782-1815) is considered the preeminent Irish cabinet maker in 18th century Ireland. He is credited with creating the passion for Neo-Classical designs which flourished throughout the great homes of Ireland at the time, having first been introduced to England by Robert Adam.
While not much is known with certainty about his early life, it is believed that he was the William Moore who was registered at The School of Landscape and Ornament Drawing at the Dublin Society Drawing Schools in 1768. After finishing his studies there, Moore went onto London where he joined the workshop of Mayhew and Ince, a very important firm whose clients included The Prince of Wales and the Duke of Devonshire. Mayhew and Ince had worked on major projects with Robert Adam. During his time at Mayhew and Ince, Moore developed his skills in marquetry inlay and his love of satinwood.
By 1777, William Moore was established in Dublin, possibly having a workshop on Inns Quay. He advertised himself as an “inlayer and cabinetmaker”, emphasizing the experience he had gained from his time at Mayhew and Ince:
“Every article in the Inlaid way, executed on shortest notice, and hopes from his long experience at Messrs. Mayhew and Ince, his remarkable fine coloured woods, elegant finished work, to meet the approbation of all who shall please him with their commands” (Dublin Post)
In 1782, the same year he was married to Miss Mary Palmer of Nenagh, Co. Tipperary, he advertised again, listing his location at No. 22 Abbey Street. He also had a location at No. 47 Caped Street.
Overall, Moore’s design exhibits a true understanding of the veneers that he incorporated into his pieces. Specializing in satinwood items and utilizing other exotic woods, his commodes and console tables were some of the most desirable objects of their day. The radiating fan patterns are typical of his work and his use of various themes in the marquetry help identify furniture originating in his shop. These intricate designs included intertwined vines, ribbon-tied swags, bell-flower pendants and shamrocks, often done in sycamore that had been dyed green.
Today, William Moore of Dublin designs continue to be sought after by collectors. His pieces are conserved in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City; The Victoria and Albert Museum, London; The National Museum of Ireland, Dublin and the Cooper-Hewitt Museum, New York City.
Literature: Knight of Glin, James Peill; Irish Furniture; The Paul Mellon Center for Studies in British Art. 2007.