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Part of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts
Attributed to Edward Pearce (ca. 1630–1695)
Date: ca. 1677–80Accession Number: 32.152
Date: ca. 1730–35Accession Number: 24.136.1
Clockmaker: Joseph Knibb (1640–1711)
Date: ca. 1685–95Accession Number: 1974.28.92
Possibly Daniel Marot the Elder (French, Paris 1661–1752 The Hague)
Date: 1694–1700Accession Number: 36.57
Thomas Tompion (1638–1713)
Date: probably ca. 1675–78Accession Number: 1999.48.2
Possibly by Thomas Pelletier
Date: ca. 1690Accession Number: 64.101.1001
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Forming the principal entrance to the Annie Laurie Aitken Galleries of English decorative arts, the main focus of this space is the staircase from Cassiobury Park, Hertfordshire. Attributed to Edward Pearce, its openwork balustrade displays virtuoso carving of scrolling acanthus leaves and seed pods executed about 1677–80 for Arthur Capel, first earl of Essex. On the wall are portraits, also from Cassiobury Park, of Mary and Elizabeth Capel and their brother Sir Henry Capel, painted by the Dutch-born Sir Peter Lely. Two important English timepieces, long case clocks by Thomas Tompion and Joseph Knibb, are on display, as is furniture decorated with gilt gesso and a mirror with a verre-églomisé frame.
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