Moore, James jnr
London; cabinet maker and upholsterer (c.1690–d. by 1734)
We have no record of James Moore's birth, but as his father, James snr was born c. 1670 it might be assumed as c.1690. He was presumably apprenticed to his father, but again there is no confirmation.
In his active years, from the early 1720s until his early death in 1734, he was associated with William Kent and the team of craftsmen surrounding him. He and/or his father helped Kent with the furnishing of Kensington Palace, 1722/23. He provided ‘four large sphinx stands for tables’ and two ‘fine sphinx table frames’. Some of these can be seen in the illustrations to W. H. Pyne's Royal Residences, 1819. It may therefore be possible to attribute firmly some other Kentian tables to Moore.
Reference should be made to the table frames noted in the Sherborne accounts, below, which were carved by James Richards, Carver to the Crown after Grinling Gibbons [Burlington, October 1985], who was one of the finest craftsmen of his day, and associated with Kent from c. 1720 to 1748. A fine sphinx table formerly at Ditchley [Sotheby's, 26 May 1933, now at Ramsbury] may also be by Moore jnr, carved by Richards.
In 1732 Moore was appointed cabinet and chairvmaker to Frederick, Prince of Wales [Country Life, 27 February 1942, p. 407] However he comes to notice in the Prince's accounts only twice: 1732/33, £86112s 6½d, and 1733/34, £401 6s [Duchy of Cornwall Office, LXIV, 1732–33]. He worked to Kent's design once more at Sherborne House (below), but by 1734 was dead. [Country Life, op. cit.]
SHERBORNE HOUSE, Gloucestershire (Sir John Dutton). 1731: 2 November. Packing Cases ‘for ye best Damask Bed’; 9 carved mahogany chairs ‘for my Hall’ (£5 10s each); 12 walnut chairs with stuffed backs and seats ‘for my best Bed-chamber’ (18s each); 12 walnut chair frames with bainster backs ‘for my Drawing Room up Stairs’ (28s each). The bill has three further significant entries: ‘To making 2 Table Frames for ye carver for 2 marble Tables at ye Lodge’ (£5 10s) and ‘To Mr Richards Carving ye two Table Frames above’ (13s 10d), and ‘To Mr Moore for 2 Mohoggony Settees for ye Dining Room at ye Lodge Carved’ (£30) and ‘To Ditto for 4 Stools …’ (£20). The pair of settees were made according to William Kent's design and are illustrated in John Vardy's Some Designs of Mr Inigo Jones and Mr William Kent, 1744, pl. 42. They are now at Temple Newsam House, Leeds, and were described and illustrated by Christopher Gilbert, Burlington, March 1969, pp. 148–49, figs 51–54, together with one stool and a hall chair (Gilbert's Leeds Furniture Catalogue, p. 269 notes other hall settees related to the same design).
DAVENPORT HOUSE, Shropshire (Sharington Davenport) 1732: February. ‘Paid Mr Moore ye Upholsterer. £29’. (A pair of pier-glasses with carved and gilt cresting at Davenport could be associated with Moore, cf. Country Life, 11 July 1952, p. 116).
By Geoffrey Beard