The Sitting Room

The plaster ceiling and doorcases, in the Wyatt style, date from the 1930s, when the 2nd Lord Faringdon made extensive alterations to Buscot, intending to return the house to its original eighteenth-century appearance.  The inlaid marble chimney-pieces at either end of the room were introduced at the same time. Both date from the late eighteenth century, and one has always been in the house, though moved from another room.

 

The room was redecorated in the Autumn of 2008 under the direction of Miss Imogen Taylor with the assistance of Lynette Hood and a new lighting system was installed at the same time in order to enhance the collection of pictures by English artists.

 

Pictures

The room is mainly hung with portraits, including three by Reynolds, acquired by the 1st Lord Faringdon in the 1890s.  The portrait of the Countess of Coventry (No.10) is a comparatively early work of 1764.  The two sentimental subjects of the Beggar Boy (No.17) and Mercury (No.15), a decade later, show a different, and less usual facet of Reynolds’s character – fanciful rather than austerely classical.  Over the chimney-piece, Gainsborough’s monochromatic Landscape (No.16), bought by the 2nd Lord Faringdon in 1935, may be one of the two pictures sent to the Academy in 1772, which Horace Walpole described as ‘very great effect, but neat, like needlework’.

 

Furniture and Ceramics

As in the Hall beyond, most of the furniture here is of the Regency period.  Either side of the fireplace are the newly acquired "Marlborough Commodes", originally owned by the 5th Duke of Marlborough for his Reading home, "Whiteknights"; they were made by Mayhew and Ince in the same year as the two Reynolds' portraits above them were painted (1775).  The eight single chairs with sabre legs, grained to simulate rosewood, exemplify a type of painted decoration characteristic of the period.  The pair of Regency mahogany bergere chairs are a recent acquisition.

 

The two mahogany dwarf bookcases on either side of the north doorway are also English, though in a more openly French style, with gilt-bronze mounts, similar to those seen in the engravings of Percier and Fontaine.  Between the windows is a pair of rosewood cabinets with marble tops and gilt monopodia

 

The chandelier is a good example of a Regency glass ‘lustre’, and the gilt pelmet boards, with elaborate scrolls terminating in eagles’ heads, are of the same period, moved here from the Drawing Room at Barnsley Park, when Nash carried out his alterations there between 1807 and 1809.

 

The large painted vase on the sofa table is Bloor Derby of about 1820; the hexagonal famille rose vases on the dwarf bookcases are Chinese of the Qianlong period (1736–95), while much of the blue and white porcelain here date from the earlier Kangxi reign (1662–1722).

 

Sculpture and Metalwork

On the mantelpiece, the two nineteenth-century French classical bronzes by Louis Fayon depict David (after Michelangelo) and Antinous (after the Antique), between them sits an Austrian grande Sonnerie Ormolu Timepiece.  On the right-hand commode is a pair of papier-mache ewers with dome-shaped covers painted with allegorical scenes by Vernis Martin, whilst on the left is a nineteenth-century Neapolitan bronze of the Young Bacchus (originally known as Narcissus), after an Antique bronze excavated at Pompeii in 1862, the last such find to gain celebrity through reproduction.

 

On the right-hand dwarf bookcase is an ormolu figure of Napoleon as First Consul. 

 

To the right of the door to the hall there is a bronze statuette of the Young Bacchus, by J M Swan, RA (1847–1910).  By the left hand door is a bronze head of the present Lady Faringdon, standing on a marble torchère, commissioned in 1996 by the partners of Cazenove & Co., and sculpted by Philomena Davidson-Davis.





 
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