I had a most enjoyable visit to Christie’s last week to see the giltwood armchairs and stools and the superb serpentine serving table made by Ince & Mayhew in the 1770s. It was a pleasure to meet some of the staff, including Charles Cator. They were very knowledgeable about the pieces and emphasised the quality of the furniture produced by the firm. I wondered if Ince & Mayhew had some sort of quality control, inspecting pieces before they were delivered to make sure the standard of workmanship was satisfactory.
It was interesting to see the bottom of one of the chairs with the deep V-notches that were carved to allow clamps to hold the legs in place when they were being glued, necessary with the rounded backs.
The Auction was held on 8th March and the armchairs were sold for £20,000, the stools for £25,000, nearly three times the estimate, and the table for £65,000, more than double the estimate.
Sarah Ingle is the great great great great grand-daughter of William Ince and has been researching her family history for a number of years. She thoroughly enjoyed the detective work involved in tracing William’s lineage.