MACKINNON Fine Furniture
THE SIGN OF THE CHAIR
Exceptional Antique Chairs & Their Histories
We are delighted to start off the new year with a catalogue highlighting one specific area: seat furniture. The title of this catalogue is inspired by Thomas Chippendale, the esteemed cabinetmaker who named his workshop on St Martin’s Lane in Covent Garden ‘The Sign of the Chair.’ As it is his tercentenary this year, it seemed fitting to honour his legacy and work. The following pages present a selection of chairs and settees starting in the early 18th century and extending all the way through 19th century with two examples of revival furniture looking back to traditional models. The catalogue proceeds chronologically in the hope of demonstrating fluid design features across different periods as styles gradually changed, developed, and matured. The catalogue focuses mainly on English models but also includes fine examples from Ireland and the Continent. The most celebrated cabinetmakers of their time are all represented in these pages, including James Moore, Giles Grendey, William Hallett, Gillows of Lancaster & London, and of course, Thomas Chippendale. Several of the chairs included in this catalogue have histories that can be traced back to their original owners. We hope you will enjoy looking through the catalogue and learning about the incredible diversity of chair designs in the eighteenth century and beyond.
Charlie Mackinnon Director
A QUEEN ANNE WALNUT SETTEE England, circa 1700 An exceptional Queen Anne walnut double-backed settee of rare small scale. The upholstered back and seats standing on carved cabriole legs terminating in pad feet, all joined by a wonderful turned stretcher of elaborate form, the back legs gracefully outswept. Height: 47 in (120 cm) Width: 63¾ in (162 cm) Depth: 28½ in (72.5 cm) Provenance Private Collection, UK Mallett & Son Antiques, London, 1984 Hotspur Antiques, London
A PAIR OF GEORGE I SIDE CHAIRS
England, circa 1720 A superb and rare pair of George I high-backed walnut side chairs. The intricately carved back splat in the Berainesque style, with carving also to the cabriole legs and cross stretchers. Height: 47 in (120 cm) Width: 21Â˝ in (54.5 cm) Depth: 21Â˝ in (54.5 cm)
This exceptional pair of chairs relate closely to a set of ten chairs at Hampton Court Palace. The set at Hampton Court are likely part of the original set of eighteen chairs supplied by Richard Roberts, a royal cabinetmaker working for Queen Anne and George I. One of Roberts’s first commissions was to make a new bed for Queen Anne with accompanying seat furniture including eight stools and an easy chair. In 1717-18 he issued an invoice that reads, ‘For 18 Chairs made of the best Walnuttree bended backs finely carved and pollisht and silk lace Seats for his maties [Majesty’s] Dining Room … £36.0..0.’ This original set is notable for its incorporation of the ‘bended back,’ which was a style influenced by Chinese forms of narrow upright seat backs that curves into the small of the back.
designer to the King and Queen at the turn of the 18th century. The presence of the cabriole legs on the chairs reflects an influence of European designs with particular French influence. The set of chairs at Hampton Court have replaced seat rails. It is possible that the Hampton Court set would have originally had rushed, caned, or drop-in seats like the current pair. Although there are several variations on the model, including a set at Knightshayes Court, Devon and Wightwick Manor, West Midlands, it is rare to find pure examples that are identical in design to the Hampton Court set. Our pair has exceptional colour and patination.
These chairs reflect design influences both from the earlier William & Mary period with the carved back drawing inspiration from patterns by Daniel Marot,
Jan Stevens, South Prospect of Hampton Court, circa 1705. Collection of the Yale Center for British Art 9
A GEORGE I GILT GESSO SETTEE Attributed to James Moore England, circa 1720 An exceptional and very rare George I carved gilt gesso settee. The frame decorated throughout with outstanding carved gilt gesso detailing, the back and seat upholstered in eighteenth century silk damask, the arm supports boldly outswept with curled terminals, the gilt gesso seat frieze further embellished with scrolling foliage and circular punchwork background, standing on elegant cabriole legs further decorated with acanthus leaves and surmounted by shells, terminating in pad feet similarly decorated. Height: 80Â˝ in (204.5 cm) Width: 49 in (124.5 cm) Depth: 25 in (63.5 cm)
Provenance Norman Adams, Ltd., London Mallett & Son (Antiques) Ltd., London Private Collection, USA Literature C. Claxton Stevens and S. Whittingon, 18th Century English Furniture: The Norman Adams Collection, Woodbridge, 1983, ill. p. 27. L. Synge, Great English Furniture, London, 1991, pp. 8384, fig. 87. Exhibited Grosvenor House Antiques Fair, 1951. ‘This settee… is one of the most unusual items of gesso furniture recorded.’ – C. Claxton Stevens & S. Whittington, 18th Century English Furniture: The Normal Adams Collection, pp.26-27.
A PAIR OF GEORGE II MAHOGANY HALL CHAIRS
England, circa 1740 An outstanding pair of George II mahogany hall chairs in the traditional sgabello form. The figured mahogany of exceptional colour and patination throughout. Particularly fine examples of their type. Height: 42 in (107 cm) Width: 19 in (48 cm) Depth: 20 in (51 cm) N01.05
The inspiration for the basic form of the hall chair derives from the Italian Renaissance sgabello seats, which were stools with a back support often carved and decorated with heraldic imagery and placed in the hallways of grand palazzos. The sgabello chairs featured a solid wooden seat, which was easy to clean, uncomfortable and suitable for entrance halls. By the mid-18th century, designs for hall chairs had appeared in Chippendale's Director as well as other contemporary design books including Robert Manwaring's The Chair-Maker's Real Friend and Companion. Throughout the 18th century each of the major English designers, including William Kent, Thomas Chippendale, Robert Adam, George Hepplewhite, Thomas Sheraton, and Gillows of
Lancaster & London, all developed hall chairs of their own design. A fine example of the sgabello hall chair can be found at Ham House, Surrey. George Nix supplied a total of eighteen sgabello hall chairs for Sir Lionel Tollemache, 4th Earl of Dysart, carved and painted with the earlâ€™s coronet and the Tollemache arms. Dumfries House contains a very fine set of Georgian sgabello hall chairs made by the cabinetmaker Alexander Peter of Edinburgh. Peter, along with Thomas Chippendale, was one of the principle furniture makers at Dumfries House. Both the chairs at Ham and Dumfries relate very closely to our chairs.
A pair of sgabello, Florentine circa 1575-1600. Collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Giles Grendey (1693-1780), born in Wooton-underEdge in Gloucestershire, became a leading London cabinet-maker. He was one of only a few English 18th century cabinet-makers to sometimes affix trade labels to his furniture, a record of which now helps to provide additional information on his clients and work. Pieces from his workshops are also often impressed with initials which helps strengthen attributions as well as offering an insight into identifying and recognising individual craftsmen working in Grendey’s cabinet-shop. These impressed initials can be seen on a number of the pieces we are offering here. Grendey was apprenticed to the London joiner William Sherborne before becoming a freeman in 1716. Taking his own apprentices by 1726, Grendey was elected to the Livery of the Joiners’ Company in 1729. His first workshop was at St. Paul’s, Covent Garden, moving to St. John’s Square, Clerkenwell in 1772 where he developed a thriving export trade. His labels advertised that he ‘makes and sells all sorts of cabinet goods, chairs, and glasses.’
It was reported in various newspapers on August 7, 1731, including the Daily Post and Daily Advertiser, that a fire which started on adjacent premises to Mr Grendey ‘a Cabinet-maker and Chair-maker’ caused him to lose furniture to the value of £1,000, which he ‘had packed for Exportation against the next morning’. Throughout his career, Grendey provided furniture for prominent members of society including Sir Jacob de Bouverie at Longford Castle, Lord Scarsdale at Kedleston Hall, and Henry Hoare at Stourhead. His most famous recorded commission came from the Duke of Infantado, Lazcano, northern Spain, who acquired from Grendey a suite of some seventy pieces of scarlet japanned furniture, which included cabinets, tables, torcheres, mirrors and chairs. Grendey’s daughter Sukey married John Cobb, a cabinet maker who partnered with William Vile and also served as a cabinet-maker for George III.
A GEORGE II WALNUT ARMCHAIR Attributed to Giles Grendey England, circa 1745
Provenance Private Collection, USA
A very fine George II walnut Gainsborough chair attributed to Giles Grendey. The rectangular upholstered backrest flanking a pair of upholstered outswept armrests raised on supports carved with acanthus decoration, above a square seat raised on cabriole legs headed by a rocaille-cartouche surrounding a flower head above carved acanthus brackets, terminating in hairy paw feet on castors. The rail with a white painted monogram ‘J.B.W.’
Comparative Literature P. Macquoid, A History of English Furniture: The Age of Mahogany, vol. III, 1906, pp. 122-3, figs 104-5. H. Cescinsky, English Furniture of the Eighteenth Century, vol. II, 1910, p. 86, fig. 82. H. Cescinsky, ‘The Collection of the Hon. Sir John Ward, KCVO,’ Connoisseur, March 1921, p. 142, fig. 5. R. W. Symonds, English Furniture from Charles II to George II, 1929, p. 155, fig. 102 G. Beard and C. Gilbert, The Dictionary of English Furniture Makers 1660-1840, 1986, pp. 371-2.
The carving of outstanding quality. Height: 37¾ in (96 cm) Width: 33 in (84 cm) Depth: 32½ in (83 cm)
There is not a great deal of surviving information on Grendey’s English clients, however there is a bill from Richard Hoare of Barns Elms, Surrey that is dated 1723 and includes a chest of drawers, a ‘Burow Table,’ dressing glasses, chimney glasses, and a ‘Wrighting Disk.’ Henry Hoare’s account book, from Stourhead, lists payments between 1746-56 for £46 for chairs. Lord Scarsdale of Kedleston Hall, perhaps the most prominent known patron, acquired ‘1 Fine Jamai. Mahog. Plank’ for £21 in 1762. He also provided furniture for Sir Jacob de Bouverie at Longford Castle.
This chair bears is very similar to a suite of ten armchairs provided to the Hon. George Shirley (1705-1787) at Ettington Park, Warwickshire. The chairs remained at the house until the set was sold in the 1946 house sale.
A GEORGE II WALNUT SIDE CHAIR
In the manner of Giles Grendey England, circa 1730 A very fine George II carved walnut side chair. The seat and back upholstered in very fine French 18th century needlepoint which is in excellent condition and still retains very strong colours. The chair standing on four very fine carved legs, of cabriole form to the front and outswept to the rear, each terminating in animal paw feet. Beautifully carved detail and a lovely colour walnut. Height: 40 in (101.5 cm) Width: 27 in (68.5 cm) Depth: 30 in (76 cm)
A GEORGE II WALNUT SHEPHERDS CROOK ARMCHAIR
In the manner of Giles Grendey England, circa 1730 An outstanding George II period carved walnut shepherds crook armchair in the manner of Giles Grendey. The walnut of magnificent colour throughout, with outswept arms in the form of shepherds crooks, standing on exceptional front cabriole legs carved at the knees with cabochon and stylised acanthus leaves terminating in pronounced ball and claw feet, the rear legs outswept. The chair upholstered in superb eighteenth century floral needlepoint. Height: 39 in (99 cm) Width: 27Â˝ in (70 cm) Depth: 26Â˝ in (67 cm) Literature L Synge, Mallett Millennium, London, 1999, p. 60, fig. 58.
A PAIR OF GEORGE II WALNUT SIDE CHAIRS Attributed to Giles Grendey England, circa 1740 A very fine pair of George II walnut side chairs attributed to Giles Grendey. Each chair with a scrolled top-rail above a vase-shaped splat flanked by serpentine stiles, with drop-in gros-point needlework seats above cabriole legs with carved shells to the knees, standing on claw and ball feet. With a journeyman stamp beneath a crown. Height: 39½ in (100 cm) Width: 22½ in (57 cm) Depth: 23½ in (60 cm) Grendey specialised in walnut and mahogany furniture for the English market and a number of his pieces survive today in both public and private collections. These chairs relate very closely to a known design by Grendey that retain his label, sold at Sotheby’s New York on 21 November 1981 (lots 233-235). There are other directly related examples, including a single chair at Temple Newsam, a chair from the collection of the Duchess of Wellington, and an example at the Carnegie Museum of Art, which also retains its original Grendey label. Each of these chairs feature the same basic silhouette with variation to the carved features, including the presence of C-scroll brackets on the knees of some and carved flower heads of the rising scrolls of the vase-shaped splats.
A PAIR OF GEORGE II WALNUT SIDE CHAIRS
Attributed to Giles Grendey England, circa 1730 A very fine pair of George II walnut side chairs attributed to Giles Grendey. Each chair with a scrolled top-rail above a vase-shaped splat flanked by serpentine stiles, with drop-in needlework seats above cabriole legs, standing on pad feet. With a journeyman stamp ‘IK.’ Height: 40 in (102 cm) Width: 20 in (51 cm) Depth: 21½ in (55 cm) N01.03
THE LAZCANO SUITE: A PAIR OF GEORGE II RED JAPANNED CHAIRS By Giles Grendey England, circa 1730 An exceptional and highly important pair of George II scarlet japanned side chairs. Each chair profusely decorated throughout with outstanding gilded chinoiserie scenes on a scarlet japanned ground, with elaborately dressed courtly figures standing in stylized landscapes surrounded by scrolling foliage, birds, lion’s masks, acanthus leaves and strapwork. The extravagant vase shaped splat and shaped stiles above a caned seat, standing on cabriole legs joined by shaped moulded stretchers, and on pad feet. Stamped with the journeyman’s initials. Height: 40 in (102 cm) Width: 21 in (55 cm) Depth: 22 in (56 cm)
Provenance Almost certainly supplied to Don Juan Raimundo de Arteaga-Lazcano y Chiriboga (d. 1761), for Lazcano Castle, Spain, circa 1735-1740, and by descent at Lazcano Or, to Don Juan de Dios de Silva Mendoza y Sandival, X Duque del Infantado (1672-1737), or his daughter, Dona Maria Teresa de Silva y Mendoza, XI Duquesa del Infantado (1707-1770), and by decent at Lazcano With Adolfo Loewi, circa 1930 The Rosen Foundation, Katonah, USA Literature R.W. Symonds, ‘Giles Grendey (1693-1780) and the Export Trade of English Furniture to Spain,’ Apollo, 1935, pp. 337-342. R.W. Symonds, Masterpieces of English Furniture and Clocks, London, 1940, pp. 87-88, figs. 56-57. C. de Arteago, La casa del Infantado, Cabeza de Mendoza, vol. II, 1944 C. Gilbert, ‘Furniture by Giles Grendey for the Spanish Trade,’ The Magazine Antiques, April 1971, pp. 544-550. H. Huth, Lacquer of the West, 1971, pls. 65-66. C. Gilbert, Furniture at Temple Newsam House and Lotherton Hall, vol. I, Leeds, 1978, pp. 79-81. C. Gilbert, The Pictorial Dictionary of Marked London Furniture 1700-1840, Leeds, 1996, pp.31-32 & figs. 442-451.
These iconic chairs form part of the most celebrated and elaborate suite of English furniture from the 18th century. Commissioned from the esteemed cabinetmaker Giles Grendey for the Lazcano Palace, Northern Spain, the extensive suite comprised of at least 77 pieces including chairs, daybeds, tables, mirrors, tripod stands, and several desks and bookcases. The significance of this palatial commission is unprecedented, and it has been documented in numerous publications on furniture history. Furniture historian R.W. Symonds described pieces from the suite as ‘the best English cabinet-work’ in 1935, and Christopher Gilbert further emphasized the suite’s ‘outstanding importance’ in 1971. Today, many items from the suite are now represented in major museums around the globe, including the Victoria & Albert Museum, London, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Temple Newsam House, Leeds, and the Museo de las Artes Decorativas, Madrid.
The Palace of Lazcano was built between 1620 and 1640 in Guipúzcoa, Northern Spain. The suite is recorded in a 19th century photograph of an interior of the Palace, which was later reproduced in La Casa del Infantado cabeza de los Mendoza by Cristina de Arteaga (vol. II, Madrid, 1944). In 1930, the German dealer Adolph Loewi visited Lazcano and acquired a great deal of the collection, including fifty side chairs, twelve armchairs, two daybeds, two pairs of mirrors, a pair of candlestands, a card table, and a tripod tea table. From his shops in Venice and later in America, Loewi sold the collection to clients internationally. One of his greatest patrons was the avid art collector Walter Rosen, who acquired thirty pieces for his Caramoor estate in Katonah, New York.
19th century photograph of Lazcano Palace showing the Grendey suite of furniture in situ. 35
A PAIR OF GEORGE II JAPANNED SIDE CHAIRS
In the manner of Giles Grendey Circa 1720-30 A rare pair of George II period japanned side chairs in the manner of Giles Grendey. With shell-carved arched top-rails and drop-in seats, on cabriole front legs joined by turned and waved stretchers, with magnificent whimsical chinoiserie decoration throughout, the front cabriole legs terminating in claw and ball feet. Height: 41 in (104 cm) Width: 22 in (56 cm) Depth: 23 in (59 cm)
THE HANBURY HALL SIDE CHAIRS
Attributed to William Hallett England, circa 1735 An exceptional pair of George II mahogany side chairs attributed to William Hallett. The seat covers with early eighteenth century French needlework, worked in polychrome wools and silks in gros-point and petit-point, the seat back vertical cartouche enclosing Chinoiserie figures flanking a very unusual wine press and surrounded by accessories, and the seats with a horizontal cartouche enclosing an elaborate water cistern flanked by exotic animals, surrounded by exuberant scrolling leaves, against a cream coloured ground, worked in gros-point. Each chair standing on magnificent mahogany cabriole legs to the front and rear terminating in ball-andclaw feet, with concealed brass and leather castors. The front legs carved to the knees with shells and each with a carved mahogany ring collar to the ankle.
Literature H. Avray Tipping, English Homes Period IV – Vol. 1 Late Stuart, 1649-1714, 1920, Hanbury Hall, pp.397404, figs. 490 & 492. J. Haworth & G. Jackson-Stops, Hanbury Hall, The National Trust, 1994, ill. p. 7. A. Oswald, ‘Upton House, Warwickshire-I,’ Country Life, 5 September 1936, p. 251, fig. 8. G. Jackson-Stops, Upton House, The National Trust, 1980, ill. p. 12. S. Murray, ‘Upton House, Warwickshire,’ Country Life, 11 June 1992, p. 144, fig. 4. L. Wood, The Upholstered Furniture in the Lady Lever Art Gallery, Vol. I, 2008, pp. 327-28. Height: 40¼ in (102 cm) Width: 30 in (76 cm Depth: 30 in (76 cm)
Provenance Hanbury Hall, Worcestershire, possibly acquired by Thomas Bowater Vernon (1832-1859) or Sir Harry Foley Vernon, 1st Baronet (1834-1909) Acquired circa 1927 by Walter Samuel, 2nd Viscount Bearsted, M.C. (1882-1948), for the Long Gallery, Upton House, Warwickshire
The Design & Upholstery These chairs are attributed to the cabinetmaker William Hallett because of striking stylistic similarities to a known suite of walnut seat furniture by Hallett supplied to Arthur Ingram, 6th Viscount Irwin (1689-1736). This suite incorporates almost identical carved scallop motifs and ringed ball-andclaw feet.
not appear to be mentioned in the 1840 inventory. It is probable that it was acquired by either Thomas Bowater Vernon (1832-1859), who renovated and altered the hall between 1856 and 1859, or his brother, Sir Harry Foley Vernon, 1st Baronet (18341920), who inherited the hall upon his brother’s death in 1859. Hanbury Hall was donated to the National Trust.
The finely worked early eighteenth century French needlework attributed to the workshop of the tapissier Planqué at St. Cyr features three recurring designs within cartouches of figures and mythical creatures. The inspiration for these scenes come from Chinese woodblock prints and porcelain ornamentation from the Kangxi period (1662-1722). Lucy Wood, in her seminal publication, The Upholstered Furniture in the Lady Lever Art Gallery, suggested that it is certainly possible that the needlework and frames have always been together. She notes that the deep-sided sofa fits the panels ‘remarkably well’ and that the English frames may have been made to fit the imported panels.
Sir Harry Vernon died in 1920. The suite was sold and subsequently acquired by Walter Samuel, 2nd Viscount Bearsted (1882-1948) for Upton House, Warwickshire. Bearsted, chairman of Shell Oil, was a great philanthropist of his day and served as the Chairman of the National Gallery as well as a Trustee of both the Tate Gallery and Whitechapel Art Gallery. He amassed a superlative collection of works of art during his lifetime, including superb pieces of English furniture that included the outstanding ‘Apollo’ giltwood side tables, formerly in the collection of the Dukes of Buckingham at Stowe. He bought Upton House in 1927, and the suite of seating furniture is photographed there in situ in 1936. The house, together with a great deal of the collection went to the National Trust upon his death in 1948. The suite was, however, retained by the family.
Hanbury Hall & Upton House These exceptionally fine chairs have an interesting and illustrious history, tracing back to two distinguished houses. They are first recorded in a photograph in situ at Hanbury Hall, Worcestershire, circa 1916 along with other pieces from the original suite. Hanbury Hall had been the residence of the Vernon family since 1631. The suite of seat furniture does
THE WARWICK CASTLE ARMCHAIRS
England, circa 1745 A highly important pair of George II mahogany armchairs, the serpentine backs, seats and armrests upholstered in early 18th century Genoese polychrome silk velvet, the scrolled arms carved with leaf and shell motifs, standing on superb carved cabriole legs terminating in pad feet, on castors. Retaining the original webbing. Height: 43 ¾ in (111 cm) Width: 28 ¾ in (73 cm) Depth: 28 ¾ in (73 cm) Provenance Commissioned by Francis Greville, 8th Baron Brooke, 1st Earl Brooke and 1st Earl of Warwick (1719-1773) for Warwick Castle Thence by descent These chairs are first recorded in the Warwick Castle Inventory dated 1756, not the 1809 Inventory, as previously thought. They are listed as being in the Cedar Drawing Room – ‘12 Arm’d chairs of cut velvet,’ which confirms they must have must have been commissioned by Francis Greville, 1st Earl Brooke. There are numerous old photographs showing these chairs in situ at Warwick Castle. We are very grateful to Adam Busiakiewicz for this new information.
This magnificent pair of chairs appears to have originally formed part of a larger set of twelve armchairs, three stools, and possibly two settees that are referred to in various major inventories of the collections at Warwick Castle compiled in 1756, 1809, 1853, and 1894. The chairs are first mentioned in the 1756 inventory of the Cedar Room. They were probably commissioned by Francis, 8th Baron Brooke (17191773), who was created 1st Earl Brooke of Warwick Castle in 1746 and 1st Earl of Warwick in 1759. In 1742, he had married Elizabeth, the daughter of Lord Archibald Hamilton, younger brother of William, Duke of Hamilton.
velvet panels, circa 1735-1740, used to upholster these chairs, are Italian in origin. These woven velvets and silk brocades, referred to as ‘Genoese,’ were produced in narrow widths which, as can be seen with our chairs, resulted in joining panels. These panels at the time were incredibly expensive to purchase and were considered an ultimate luxury and status symbol. The ‘Genoa’ velvet on the present chairs also closely compares with that seen on the exceptional Nottingham State Bedroom suite of seat furniture. The velvet panels have been conserved and rebacked to provide strength but are almost certainly original to the chairs.
The date of the armchairs corresponds closely to this marriage which is likely to have brought about re-decoration and re-furnishing of the State Rooms at Warwick Castle. The magnificent polychrome silk
The Warwick Castle Cedar Room, circa 1844, showing the chairs in situ 45
Thomas Chippendale & His Contemporaries Thomas Chippendale (1718-1779) was born in Otley, Yorkshire to a family of carpenters in 1718. It is likely that he received a practical apprenticeship from his father, though little is known of his early career.
its furnishings. Chippendale’s workshop was a large operation in the 1750s. By 1755 he employed between 40 and 50 artisans, including cabinetmakers, upholsterers and carvers.
In 1748, at age 30, Chippendale moved to London where he set up as a cabinet-maker. He established his workshop on St. Martin’s Lane in Covent Garden at ‘The Sign of the Chair,’ which was the centre of the furniture-making trade in London.
There are over seventy known patrons of Chippendale’s workshop during his lifetime. Subtle shifts in Chippendale’s decorative taste can be seen in his various commissions, such as the rococo furniture at Dumfries House in the late 1750s, the early neo-classical pieces for Sir Lawrence Dundas, the mature neo-classical style furniture at Harewood in the 1770s and the refined pieces at Burton Constable in the late 1770s.
In 1754 he published The Gentleman and CabinetMaker’s Director, a pattern book that offered 160 engravings of fashionable furniture designs in three main styles: the ‘Gothic, Chinese and Modern [French] Taste.’ This publication was the first of its type to be produced in such large scale. The Director was published by subscription, with both aristocrats and cabinet-makers on the list, and became an instant success. It was reissued in 1755, and again in 1762 with additional plates in the newly fashionable neo-classical style.
Due to the popularity of the Director and its widespread publication, other leading cabinet-makers created furniture that reflects the influence and stylistic qualities of Chippendale. The following chairs are pieces that can be attributed to Chippendale and his contemporaries that reflect his eponymous style.
Chippendale excelled at cultivating a business that provided a full range of services for the interior and
Thomas Chippendale, The Gentleman and Cabinetmaker’s Director, ‘Chairs in Perspective,’ Plate IX, 1754.
A PAIR OF GEORGE III MAHOGANY SIDE CHAIRS
Attributed to Thomas Chippendale England, circa 1765 An outstanding pair of George III mahogany side chairs attributed to Thomas Chippendale. The upholstered arched back and serpentine fronted seat, raised on finely carved fluted tapering front legs each surmounted by a domed block paterae and terminating in block capital feet, the rear legs splayed. The mahogany and and carving of the highest quality. Height: 38 in (96.5 cm) Width: 24Â˝ in (62 cm) Depth: 24Â˝ in (62 cm) Provenance Possibly Sir Lawrence Dundas, 1st Baronet, Aske Hall & 19 Arlington Street, London
A stool of identical form, previously with Norman Adams (9 April 1981), was sold Christie’s London, 50 Years of Collecting: The Decorative Arts of Georgian England, 14 May 2003, lot 129 (£33,186). The pattern of the stool appears identical to a suite of chairs that remain at Aske Hall, Yorkshire, but seem more likely to have been originally supplied to Sir Lawrence Dundas (d. 1781) for 19 Arlington Street, before being moved to Aske, another of his properties, at a later date. There were two very closely related suites, one in giltwood with legs headed by scrolls, and one in mahogany without scrolls.
by Cicely, Marchioness of London, 10 May 1973, lot 123.
It is understood that chairs identical to ours remain at Aske today, and so it is possible that they were all originally part of the same suite. Sir Lawrence Dundas was a considerable client of Thomas Chippendale and spent £1,300 in 1764. The extremely high quality of the timber of these chairs, and the Christie’s stool, the restrained neo-classical design and patera-headed herm legs, together with the possible provenance suggest that Thomas Chippendale may well have made these pieces.
The giltwood suite was illustrated in Country Life in the 1930s whilst still at Arlington Street and a stool from it was sold Christie’s London, 31 January 1999, lot 113. Part of the remainder of the suite was sold
John Scott after J.M.W. Turner, Aske Hall, 1818-23. Collection of the Yale Center for British Art.
THE NEWHAILES ARMCHAIRS
England, circa 1750-55 An exceptional and highly important pair of George II mahogany armchairs retaining their original Aubusson tapestry seat covers. Each chair with a rectangular back and seat upholstered with tapestry covers. The tapestry padded mahogany outswept arms with handrests terminating with carved flowerheads, and the moulded, sloping supports with carved ‘gothic’ panels, scrollwork, and beading. Each chair standing on outstanding pierced and fretted square-section legs carved with floral garlands and terminating in guttae feet. The legs joined by elaborate chinoiserie pierced fretwork stretchers. The outstanding Aubusson tapestry panels worked with strapwork cartouches interwoven with scrolling leaves and brightly coloured summer flowers on a claret ground, the cartouches on the backs depicting a peacock and flying stork, the seats with a leaping deer and a fox. The seat covers signed by Pierre Mage. Height: 39¾ in (101 cm) Width: 29½ in (75 cm) Depth: 30 in (76 cm) Provenance Originally from a set of four chairs almost certainly commissioned by General the Hon. James Sinclair (1688-1762) or his wife Janet (d. 1766), youngest daughter of Sir David Dalrymple of Hailes 1st Lord Hailes (1726-92) for Newhailes House, Midlothian, Scotland, and thence by descent at
Newhailes until sold by Sir David Dalrymple (d. 1932) Frank Partridge & Sons, London, 1928 Percy R. Pyne, Esq., New York Mrs. Robert G. Elbert, Long Island and South Carolina Frank Partridge, Inc., New York Walter P. Chrysler, Jr, Virginia Partridge Fine Arts, London, circa 1980s Ira and Nancy Koger, Savannah, Georgia Exhibited 'Loan Exhibition of French and English Art Treasures of the Eighteenth Century,' New York, 1942, no. 471. Literature L. Weaver, 'Newhailes, Midlothian,' Country Life, September 8, 1917, pp. 228-232 P. Duncan, 'Newhailes, East Lothian,' Country Life, January 29 and February 5, 1987 J. Cornforth, 'Newhailes, East Lothian,' Country Life, November 21 and 28, 1996 I. Gow, Scottish Houses and Gardens, London, 1997, p. 107 John Cornforth, 'How French Style Touched The Georgian Drawing Room,' Country Life, January 6, 2000, pp, 52-55, fig. 9, the 'Crane' chair J. Cornforth, 'Newhailes, Midlothian,' Country Life, August 22, 2002, p. 65-66
The Chair Frames Although the maker of the chairs is unknown, possible candidates include William Bradshaw, William Vile and Thomas Chippendale. Bradshaw was a cabinet-maker with a tapestry workshop at 59 Greek Street. He was predominantly an upholsterer but is also known to have supplied furniture earlier in his career during the 1730s and 1740s, having supplied a suite of twelve armchairs and two sofas with tapestry covers to the 2nd Earl Stanhope for the Carved Room at Chevening, Kent in 1736-37. Given the later date of these chairs, circa 1755, it is more likely that the chairs themselves were made by one of the leading cabinet-makers established on nearby St. Martin’s Lane, with possibilities including William Vile, and Thomas Chippendale himself. It is of course possible that they may have been subsequently upholstered in the Bradshaw workshops. William Vile was almost certainly commissioned to create the related superlative set of mahogany seat furniture for the drawing room of the 4th Earl of Shaftesbury at St. Giles House in Dorset. The entwined floral garlands and guttae feet along with the carved floral terminals on the downswept arms are very similar in both the St Giles’s chairs and the Newhailes set. The exceptional carving on both suites is clearly the work of a master craftsman, and Vile is the most plausible.
It is quite possible General St. Clair brought the tapestries back from Paris himself. He was a British military envoy in Vienna and Turin in 1748 and returned home via Lyons and Paris. The other possibility is that Janet St. Clair purchased the tapestries from her neighbours in Greek Street, the Bradshaw workshops, who were known to carry Aubusson tapestries in stock. Newhailes Sir David Dalrymple acquired the set of four chairs at the auction of the collection of Janet St. Clair, his aunt, in 1766. The set of four chairs was described as ‘4 French elbow chairs with tapestry seats & cases.’ He was the younger son of the 1st Viscount of Stair, President of the Court of Session and lived at Newhailes, near Edinburgh. Newhailes, now owned by the National Trust of Scotland, is an incredible survival of the Scottish Enlightenment. The library was one of the most impressive spaces in the house. The family amassed a book collection of over 7,000 volumes that was widely admired, with Dr. Samuel Johnson referring to the library ‘as the most learned room in Europe.’
The Tapestries The chairs are covered in their outstanding signed crimson-coloured Aubusson tapestries. The signature ‘M. R. D. Mage’ likely refers to Pierre Mage, who worked at the Aubusson manufactory from 16971747. His depiction of birds on each seat back is designed in the manner of Jean-Baptiste Oudry.
A GEORGE II MAHOGANY ARMCHAIR
In the manner of Thomas Chippendale England, circa 1760 A good George III mahogany Chippendale period armchair, the mahogany of fine colour throughout, the design of this chair is inspired by the drawings in Thomas Chippendale's Director; with a carved splat back above a drop in seat, the cushion with chinoiserie silk cover, standing on square legs joined by a H-stretcher. Of lovely colour and patina.
Height: 37 in (94cm) Width: 25Â˝ in (65 cm) Depth: 19Âž in (50 cm)
A GEORGE III MAHOGANY ARMCHAIR
In the manner of Paul Saunders England, circa 1765 A fine George III Chippendale period mahogany library or Gainsborough chair in the manner of Paul Saunders. With serpentine upholstered back, arms, and seat, the mahogany arm supports and square chamfered legs of good colour throughout and with finely carved mahogany detailed rope twist, C-scrolls and foliage.
Paul Saunders (1722-1771) was a leading cabinetmaker in London in the 1750s and 1760s. Saunders held the title of Tapestry Maker to His Majesty George III and also received a number of important commissions from notable patrons of the day. One of his most significant commissions was for the Earls of Leicester at Holkham Hall. Saundersâ€™ workshop was based around Carlisle House, Soho Square and 59 Greek Street.
Height: 37 in (96 cm) Width: 28 in (71 cm) Depth: 26 in (66 cm)
A SET OF TEN GEORGE II MAHOGANY DINING CHAIRS Attributed to Wright & Elwick England, circa 1755 A superb set of ten George II Chippendale period carved mahogany dining chairs attributed to Wright & Elwick. Of the finest quality mahogany and crisply carved throughout, the shaped top-rail centred by a carved pagoda cresting above incised trellis decoration and flanked by carved foliate motifs above bead and reel mouldings, the moulded and tapered uprights centred by conforming bead and reel decoration and headed by carved acanthus leaves, the ornately carved and pierced and interlaced splat with a pair of rosettes and a scallop motif carved shoe, the shaped open arms with leaf-carved terminals and carved downswept supports, the dropin seat within scallop motif mouldings above borders of blind fret carving and egg and dart mouldings, on foliate and scroll-carved cabriole legs ending in claw and ball feet. The set comprises of two armchairs and eight single chairs (one of a later date).
Armchairs: Height: 38¾ in (98.5 cm) Width: 26½ in (67.5 cm) Depth: 25 in (63.5 cm) Side chairs: Height: 38½in (98 cm) Width: 24 in (61 cm) Depth: 23½ in (60 cm) Provenance Almost certainly commissioned for a house in Yorkshire With Mallett & Son (Antiques) Ltd., London Private Noble European collection Private collection, UK Comparative Literature H. Cezinsky, English Furniture of the Eighteenth Century, 1911, vol. II, pp. 182-3, figs. 180-1. Moss Harris & Sons, A Catalogue and Index of Old Furniture and Works of Decorative Art, London, part II, p. 277.
The seat frames original, seven with original webbing and scrim, one seat frame inscribed ‘PAV’ beside a naïve drawing of a house, another seat frame inscribed ‘the elbow for York.’
The ink inscription ‘the elbow for York’ found on the seat frame of one of the armchairs provides a tantalizing clue as to the original commission. An attribution to the celebrated Yorkshire firm of Wright & Elwick can be made. They were highly influenced by the published designs of Thomas Chippendale and frequently interpreted his designs into bold and masculine creations of their own. The pagoda cresting is a well-documented motif seen on seat furniture supplied by the firm. In particular, they supplied distinctive and highly carved mahogany furniture to the Marquess of Rockingham for Wentworth Woodhouse, Yorkshire, in the 1750s and 1760s. These chairs are distinguished by their superb quality and the rare survival of the original seat frames and webbing. They encapsulate the elegant fusion of the rococo, ‘Chinese,’ and ‘Gothick’ styles as promoted by Chippendale in his Director. The design of the splat on this suite appears on a chair and settee in the collection of W.H. Lever.
A GEORGE III WING CHAIR
In the manner of Thomas Chippendale England, circa 1770 A fine George III Chippendale period mahogany framed wing back library armchair of generous proportions. The arched back flanked with outswept side wings, over scrolled armrests and upholstered seat, standing on square-section mahogany legs united by an H-stretcher and terminating in period leather barrel castors. The whole now covered in close-nailed softly patinated green leather. Height: 43 in (109 cm) Width: 32 in (81 cm) Depth: 31 in (79 cm)
A GEORGE III GILTWOOD ARMCHAIR
England, circa 1760 A very fine George III Chippendale period giltwood armchair with carved arms and cabriole legs, upholstered in pale green damask. Height: 39 cm (99 in) Width: 27½ in (70 cm) Depth: 28¾ in (73 cm)
A SET OF FOUR GEORGE III MAHOGANY ARMCHAIRS
Attributed to John Cobb England, circa 1770 An exceptional set of four George III armchairs in the French Hepplewhite taste. The mahogany show frames of exceptional depth of colour and magnificently carved throughout with gadrooned detail. With silk upholstered back seats and armrests. Standing on four elegant cabriole legs carved to the knees with cabochon framed with acanthus leaves, similarly gadrooned terminating in French scrolled toes. Height: 36 in (91.5 cm) Width: 24 in (61 cm) Depth: 21 in (53 cm) Provenance With Mallett & Sons (Antiques) Ltd. The Grosvenor House Fair, 1997 (illustrated in the catalogue p. 136) Private Collection, England Literature L. Synge, Great English Furniture, p. 127, fig. 144 illustrates one of the chairs. D. Nickerson, English Furniture of the Eighteenth Century: Pleasures and Treasures, London, 1963 p. 80, pl. 83.
A SET OF FOUR GEORGE III MAHOGANY ARMCHAIRS
In the manner of Gillows of Lancaster & London England, circa 1790 A magnificent set of four George III carved mahogany armchairs. The pierced shield back splat carved at the top with a wheatsheaf motif, the back carved with paterae and a leaf motif, the moulded arms on scroll supports, on square tapering legs and spade feet. One chair stamped ‘RE’; a superbly fluid design and exceptional craftsmanship with excellent carved detail and fine colour throughout. Height: 38½ in (97.5 cm) Width: 23½ in (60 cm) Depth: 19¼ in (49 cm) Provenance Acquired from Norman Adams Ltd, 1990s Private English Collection Literature Sotheby’s London, Mallett at Bourdon House, 9 March 2007, lot 565 (a single armchair) Lanto Synge,, 1991, p. 126, fig. 143 (a pair) Great English Furniture C. Claxton Stevens, ‘A group of Seat Furniture stamped RE’, The Journal of the Regional Furniture Society, Vol. XII, 1998, pp. 156 – 159.
A PAIR OF GEORGE III SATINWOOD ARMCHAIRS
In the manner of George Hepplewhite England, circa 1790 An exceptional pair of George III Sheraton period satinwood open armchairs, each with a rectangular back with vertical splat carved with the Prince of Wales’s feathers, the caned seats with blue silk cushions, on square tapering legs with painted reserves and collared toes. Of particularly fine quality. Provenance With Frank Partridge & Sons Ltd., London, 1939 Sir Henry Price, Wakehurst Place, West Sussex With Mallett & Son (Antiques) Ltd, New Bond Street Private Collection London
Height: 35¾ in (91 cm) Width: 21½ in (55 cm) Depth: 22 in (56 cm) With their vase-carved splats surmounted by Prince of Wales feathers and painted oval panels to the seat rail, the present armchairs related to a 1790 design by Gillows of Lancaster, a variant of their ‘canopy top rail’ chairs which were generally carved with drapery swags, and more explicitly to a design published by Hepplewhite and Co. in The Cabinet-Maker and Upholsterer’s Guide, 3rd ed., 1794, pl. 1.
Percy Macquoid, author of the seminal four volume History of English Furniture between 1904 and 1908, wrote the following about Irish furniture in the Georgian era: â€˜the furniture, decorations, and silver plate of Irish workmanship of this time show great refinement of taste and perception of proportion.â€™
Irish furniture from the 18th century can be identified by certain idiosyncrasies that distinguish it from English furniture of the same time period. In particular, the carving on Irish furniture often feature eagles heads, rosettes, oak leaves, and scallop shells.
Dublin was the centre of furniture making in Ireland during the 18th century. Notable cabinetmakers of the time were James Hicks, Arthur Jones, William Moore, Mack & Gibton, and Robert Strahan. Irish furniture makers appeared to use English pattern books while also creating their own individualistic styles.
Attributed to Thomas Frye, Girl Building a House of Cards, mid 18th century. Collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
A PAIR OF GEORGE II IRISH SIDE CHAIRS
Ireland, circa 1750 A rare pair of George III Irish mahogany side chairs. The yoke-shaped top-rail with tightly scrolled ends, above an elaborately pierced splat with punched horizontal broad 'C' scroll, the shaped drop-in seat above a waved apron, the slender cabriole front legs carved with acanthus leaves and 'C' scrolls with high scrolling at the top, similar to that of the top-rail, and with claw and ball feet, the swept back legs chamfered on all four edges and joined by a turned stretcher. Height: 40Âź in (102 cm) Width: 25 in (64 cm) Depth: 20 in (50 cm)
A PAIR OF GEORGE II IRISH MAHOGANY ARMCHAIRS Ireland, circa 1750 An exceptional pair of George II Irish mahogany armchairs of outstanding quality. Each with a superb scrolled top rail above a pierced splat, the scrolling arms with downswept hand grips above an upholstered seat, standing on cabriole legs carved with shells and acanthus leaves and terminating in square block animal paw feet. the rear legs chamfered and outswept; the front and rear legs joined by a shaped stretcher. Of particularly good colour throughout. A superb pair of chairs. Width: 28½ in (72 cm) Depth: 19¾ in (50 cm) Height: 37¼ in (95 cm) Provenance With Ronald Phillips Ltd. With Mallett & Son (Antiques) Ltd. Private Collection UK Literature The Knight of Glin and James Peill, Irish Furniture, p. 209, fig. 17
Regency Period The Regency period covers the short period between 1810 and 1820 when George IV ruled as Prince Regent during the final period of illness of his father, George III. As Prince Regent and then King, George IV was famous for his extravagance: in 1811, when he became Prince Regent, he gave a banquet for 3,000 people at Carlton House. The single dining table, which extended the entire length of the building, incorporated a stream with live goldfish. Water issued from a fountain at the head of the table and fell through a succession of cascades into a circular lake surrounded by architectural features. The 'Regency' furniture which takes his name finds its origins in the decoration for Carlton House, the Prince Regent's residence. The Seven Years’ War (1756-1763) with France had previously curtailed British enthusiasm for French fashion (French language and fashions had been adopted by the English aristocracy as a symbol of ambition and class since the 14th century), but by 1783, when the Prince of Wales had decided to rebuild Carlton House, it was the neo-classical architecture and furnishings of the French court that
provided the inspiration. Henry Holland, the architect appointed by the Prince to oversee the project, was a staunch advocate of the emerging continental neo-classical style and he employed several leading French craftsmen and cabinet-makers to help with the project. Following an early visit to the unfinished house Horace Walpole (1785) wrote, ‘There is an August simplicity that astonished me. You cannot call it magnificent; it is the taste and propriety that strike’ he continued by adding that the decoration was ‘rather classic than French.‘ The furnishing of Carlton House was completed in 1796 and, although Holland had borrowed heavily from the French Empire Style, he had also established a more subdued English interpretation. This anglicised version of French neo-classical furniture design was soon categorised as the English Regency Style.
August Charles Pugin, The Hall, Carlton House, 1808. Collection of the Yale Center for British Art. 81
A SET OF SIX REGENCY DINING CHAIRS In the manner of Gillows of Lancaster England, circa 1810 A very fine example of its kind, this set of early 19th century Regency neo-classical mahogany dining chairs comprises two armchairs and four side chairs, the mahogany being of particularly fine colour throughout, each with reeded curved front seat rail joining similarly decorated sabre legs, each top rail with a superb panel of highly figured mahogany with reeded cresting above a highly decorative cross splat decorated with carved anthemion and scrolled birds head detailing, with upholstered drop-in seats. Armchair: Height: 32½ in (83 cm) Width: 22 in (56 cm) Depth of Seat: 17 in (43 cm) Side Chair: Height: 32½ in (83 cm) Width: 18 in (46 cm) Depth of Seat: 15¼ in (39 cm) These chairs clearly derive from a series of design drawings as published in Gillows’ Estimate Sketch Books, 1810, pl. 194196. A popular related model, albeit less sophisticated in design, is the Edwards’ Library pattern chair of 1810, which features in plate 195. At least, twelve chairs are recorded as being supplied to the Revd. Holland Edwards of Conway, North Wales and further chairs also being supplied to Wilbraham Egerton of Tatton Park in 1811-12. The chairs also featured in the Gothic Dining Room at Carlton House designed by John Nash for the Prince Regent.
A PAIR OF REGENCY CROSS FRAME STOOLS
In the manner of Thomas Hope England, circa 1815 A fine pair of Regency period parcel gilt cross-framed stools in the manner of Thomas Hope. The arm rests headed by griffin’s heads with stylised gilt manes, the painted frames resembling patinated bronze and joined with carved and gilt reeded decoration centred with a central rosette motif, standing on carved and gilded lion’s paw feet. Height: 26¼ in (67 cm) Width: 31 in (79 cm) Depth: 20½ in (52 cm)
These elegant cross-framed stools reflect the work of the pre-eminent designer Thomas Hope in the early nineteenth century. Hope was greatly influenced by his extensive Grand Tour travels across Europe as well as Greece, Turkey, and Egypt. His Duchess Street home became the showcase for Hope’s vision of antiquity across the different cultures, including Egyptian, Greek, Roman, and Indian elements. Shown on the left is an image of Hope’s Duchess Street interiors with similar cross frame stools and anthropomorphic furniture. Hope officially opened his home in 1802 to visitors, and the Prince of Wales made an appearance at the grand opening. Duchess Street became an attraction for the discerning connoisseur and many notable figures travelled to see Hope’s interiors, including the artist Benjamin West, who proclaimed that it was ‘the finest specimen of true taste... either in England or in France.’
Hope went on to publish his designs in 1807 with full measurements as a way to encourage accurate imitation of his work rather than the lesser imitations that were being produced by his contemporaries. This publication, Household Furniture and Interior Decoration, was notable for the manner in which it displayed the furniture designs. The designs are represented in outline only which eliminates any sense of depth, shadow, or stylistic contrasts. Hope’s decision to depict his designs in this way reflects his fundamental allegiance to Neo-classical design and recalls John Flaxman’s recent illustrations for Dante in 1793.
Continental Furniture French furniture of the 18th century is epitomised by its refined nature and high level of artistic and technical qualities. Unlike the English trade, French cabinetmakers operated under the furniture-making guild, or Corporation des Menuisiers. This guild system was established in the Middle Ages and continued until the French Revolution. Chairmakers would work alongside members of other guilds, including designers, carvers, gilders, and upholsterers to create their pieces. Seat furniture in France during the 18th century developed alongside stylistic trends now associated
with the three monarchs of the century: Louis XIV, Louis XV, and Louis XVI. The influence of the rococo was particularly apparent in the middle of the century, while a renewed interest in antiquity led to the development of the neo-classical style toward the end of the century. Seat furniture from elsewhere in the Continent also flourished in the 18th century. Italian furniture was particularly valued for its decorative qualities and novel stylistic appearance.
Boudoir from the HĂ´tel de Crillon, circa 1777-80. Collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
A PAIR OF LOUIS XV CARVED GILTWOOD ARMCHAIRS France, circa 1750 A very fine pair of Louis XV giltwood armchairs upholstered in 18th century verdure tapestry. The carving featuring elegant shells and acanthus leaves throughout. Height: 37¾ in (96 cm) Width: 27¼ in (69.5 cm)
A PAIR OF LOUIS XV CARVED GILTWOOD CABRIOLET ARMCHAIRS France, circa 1750 A fine pair of Louis XV giltwood armchairs. Carved with flowers and foliate scrolls, the seats and backs upholstered in a slate grey velvet. Height: 36Â¼ in (92 cm) Width: 24 in (61 cm)
A PAIR OF LOUIS XV PAINTED SIDE CHAIRS
French, circa 1775 A fine pair of Louis XVI painted and parcel gilt side chairs. The upholstered backs and seat standing on cabriole legs with stylised shells to the knees. Height: 53 ½ in (136 cm) Width: 22¾ in (58 cm) Depth: 13 in (33 cm)
A PAIR OF MID 18th CENTURY VENETIAN ROCOCO ARMCHAIRS Italy, circa 1750 A rare pair of mid-18th century Venetian rococo parcel-gilt and polychrome-painted armchairs. The cartouche-shaped backrest decorated with flowers and foliage, the upholstered back and seat Ă chassis above a serpentine seat rail and cabriole legs.
Stylistic Revivals in the 19th Century
Throughout the 19th century, cabinetmakers and designers looked back to the 18th century and earlier for stylistic inspiration. The revived interest in the Renaissance, Queen Anne, Rococo, and Gothic styles all appeared throughout the 19th century. Revival furniture often looks to the original sources for inspiration but also takes stylistic liberties in the interpretation of various motifs and designs. The Great Exhibition of 1851 provided an opportunity to highlight the best of modern design as well as designs of the past. A.W.N. Pugin organised the famous Medieval Court display, which featured furniture in the medieval style along with textiles, wallpaper, jardinieres and other objects in the medieval style. In addition to the Medieval Court, the Great Exhibition featured a Roman Court, Egyptian Court, among other cultural themes.
& Mary taste. In 1904, Francis H. Lenygon founded Lenygon & Co, and in 1909 he merged his business with the upholstery firm Morant & Co. and took up premises at 31 Old Burlington Street. The firm received commissions by a number of prominent patrons, including the Royal family, and the firm held royal warrants under four kings: Edward VII, George I, Edward VIII, and George VI. They succeeded in creating a great deal of furniture reproduced in the seventeenth and early eighteenth century taste. Lenygon & Morant were the leading cabinetmakers of the Edwardian age who specialised in creating furniture that evoked the Queen Anne and William & Mary taste.
Lenygon & Morant were the leading cabinetmakers of the Edwardian age who specialised in re-creating furniture that evoked the Queen Anne and William
George Baxter, Gems of the Great Exhibition, 1852. Collection of the Yale Center for British Art.
A PAIR OF CURULE ARMCHAIRS England, circa 1860 A charming and rare pair of 19th century walnut curule-form armchair, each with rounded back, arms and seat cushion, on curved legs. Upholstered in worn green silk velvet. Provenance The collection of Irwin Untermyer, By whom bequested to The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1973 The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York Height: 33Â˝ in (85 cm) Width: 27 in (68.6 cm) Depth: 17 in (43.2 cm)
A QUEEN ANNE STYLE GILTWOOD SOFA In the manner of Lenygon & Morant England, circa 1880 A magnificent giltwood upholstered sofa, almost certainly by Lenygon & Morant, in the Queen Anne style, beautifully upholstered in slate grey velvet. Height: 46 in (117 cm) Width: 86 ½ in (220 cm) Depth: 33 ½ in (85 cm)
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