possibly George Morant (fl. 1790 - 1839)
Oak, walnut, yew, ebonized wood, brass, fabric
129.3 x 60.1 x 37.2 cm
Place of origin
88 New Bond Street, LondonOrder this image
Melford Hall, Suffolk (Accredited Museum)
An oak, yew-wood and walnut firescreen, English, probably supplied by George Morant (fl. c. 1790 - 1839) (also G. J. Morant and later Morant & Co.) of New Bond Street, shortly after the library at Melford Hall, designed by Thomas Hopper (1776 - 1856), was completed in 1813. The yew and walnut-banded rectangular frame topped by a double scroll cresting carved with foliated scrolls. The screen with two sliding panels lined with beige velvet and textiles. On a banded and slightly broadening hexagonal facetted column and a concave-sided platform topped with reeded volutes and on four paw-carved feet with brass castors.
Part of a suite of furniture believed to relate to payments of £700 made by Sir William Parker, 7th Baronet (1769 - 1830) to George Morant of 88 New Bond Street, cabinet-makers and upholsterers to William IV, between 1812 and 1815. In the same period, Gillows of Lancaster received payments of just over £100, possibly for the Grecian chaises longue, or couches, with winged feet [NT 926537.1 & .2]. Having succeeded the 6th Baronet in 1812, Sir William began altering this wing of Melford, filling in the recesses between the turrets of the West Front in order to provide an extra suite of bedrooms upstairs, and a Library and study for his own use downstairs. The rainwater heads to the exterior of this part of the Hall bear the date 1813. Sir William employed Thomas Hopper (1776 - 1856), most famous now for Penrhyn Castle, Carlton House for the Prince Regent and Erddig. He also made alterations to Kentwell Hall, less than half a mile from Melford Hall. The furniture was carefully designed to complement the bookcases [NT 926600] and the matching dado, which are of oak, yew-wood and dark-stained walnut. A similar pair of reading tables [NT 926535 and NT 926536] with hinged tops and a library table [NT 926534] form part of this set. (Megan Wheeler, 2017)
Probably acquired circa 1814 by Sir William Parker, 7th Baronet (1769 - 1830). Thence, part of the Hyde Parker Collection, and by descent to Sir Richard Hyde Parker, 12th Baronet (b. 1937). Purchased by the National Trust in 1997.
Makers and roles
possibly George Morant (fl. 1790 - 1839), designer and cabinet maker
Jackson-Stops (1981), Gervase Jackson-Stops, 'Thomas Hopper at Melford and Erddig', in National Trust Studies 1981, 69 - 83