The frame of this richly-upholstered armchair, with its golden bas-reliefs of ribbon-tied palms and Roman foliage, relates to a suite of silvered seat-furniture supplied in 1723 for Erddig, Wales by John Belchier (d. 1753). It is also a precursor for the French-fashioned frames of carved walnut supplied around 1740 for tapestry-upholstered chairs at Ditchley, Oxfordshire (J. Cornforth, Early Georgian Interiors, London, 2004, figs. 368 and 392).
Henry Francis du Pont: collector extraordinaire
This chair once formed part of the famous collections of Henry Francis du Pont (1880-1969) at Winterthur, Delware. He had inherited the vast mansion at Winterthur following his father's death in 1926 by which time his passion for agriculture, horticulture and period textiles was deeply rooted. He set about refurnishing Winterthur and even added a wing to house more spaces for entertaining. At the same time, he developed a passion for Americana, which he first collected for the more casual seaside setting of Chestertown House, Southampton. Whilst Winterthur was eventually to become a repository for the best in American decorative arts, with one hundred period rooms filled with works from 1640-1840, the New York apartment at 280 Park Avenue, was filled with predominantly European pieces: English furniture, French porcelain, Brussels tapestries. Once Henry Francis du Pont had decided to turn Winterthur into a museum in 1951, he and his family moved to a Regency-style villa not far from Winterthur that had constructed by Thomas T. Waterman largely from scratch. This was to be known as the H. F. du Pont House and served as an elegant and understated backdrop to the extant collections now largely assembled under one roof. The collection was sold at Christie's, New York, 14 October 1994.