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One of a pair of "Griffin Tripod" Stands

English
after 1805
Designed and manufactured by William Bullock (English, 1773–1849), Possibly in conjunction with George Bullock (English, 1777/78–1818)


Dimensions

32 x 12 x 12 in. (81.3 x 30.5 cm x 30.5 cm)

Accession Number

2012.628.2

Medium or Technique

Cast iron, wood, gesso, bronzed, painted, and gilded

On View

Susan Morse Hilles Gallery (Gallery 152)

Collections

Europe

Classifications

Furniture

These griffin tripods are the earliest identified objects documenting the collaboration of the Bullock brothers. William’s innovative use of cast iron for fashionable, high-style furniture appears to be the earliest recorded example.

It is likely that William used George’s classical furniture to decorate the new Roman Gallery at his Egyptian Hall in Piccadilly, London, a museum which William commissioned to house his collection of curiosities brought back from the South Seas by Captain Cook (housed today in the British Museum). The masks, with their exaggerated ears embellishing each side of the triangular tops, may reflect William's interest in pre-Columbian artifacts or Greek masks.

Markings

Impressed into each leg "W. BULLOCK PUB 1 JUNE 1805"

Provenance

About 2010, purchased at auction in upstate New York by Yew Tree House Antiques, New York; 2011, sold by Yew Tree House Antiques to H. Blairman and Sons, London; 2012, sold by Blairman and Sons to the MFA. (Accession Date: October 24, 2012)

Credit Line

Museum purchase with funds donated by Horace Wood Brock and the Frank B. Bemis Fund