John Belchier is counted among the major furniture makers of the early 18th century. He is credited with the creation of some of the finest decor of the Queen Anne period. His works are renowned for their lush veneers of burr walnut and brilliant gilt accents, but without question, his distinguished series of japanned bureau cabinets are what propelled Belchier’s reputation as a master artisan. His most distinguished commission was for John Meller, Queen Anne’s Master of Chancery, to furnish Erddig Castle in Wales. The castle houses a similar bureau as the example featured here. A 1726 inventory of the Erddig estate lists a" Red, Japan Cabinete" in the Blew Mohair bedroom. Erddig still contains Belchier’s most revered pieces, including a state bed, a pair of girandoles and a glass–topped table with the Meller family coat of arms.
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