A George II shagreen tea chest of triple bow fronted form with
The silver appears to be unmarked but is very similar to those
on another chest which bear the marks J W
The chest was part of the collection of J. S. Sykes of
Sykes was part of a close circle of British and American
collectors of Georgian furniture which included Eric Moller
(collection sold Sotheby's, November 18th, 1993), Samuel Messer
(collection sold Christies December 5th, 1991), Percival Griffiths,
Geoffrey Blackwell, Jim Joel and Lord Plender.
The collections were of particular interest as they were
formed under the tutelage of the collector and revered furniture
historian Robert Wemyss Symonds (d.1958), whose collection
of books and photographs now forms part of the H.F. Du Point Winterthus
The members of the circle met regularly at Syke's flat to get
advice on upcoming purchases and exchange information on their
Symonds published a number of books on early English furniture
and clocks, notably Furniture Making In Seventeenth and Eighteenth
Century England, publ. The Connoisseur, 1995, which is mainly
based around Symonds, Sykes and Moller's collections.
Many pieces from J.S. Sykes' collection are illustrated in R.
W. Symonds, Masterpieces of English Furniture and Clocks, 1940.