• English Furniture and Clocks auction at Christies

    Sale 7769

    English Furniture and Clocks

    19 November 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 44

    A GEORGE II WALNUT OPEN ARMCHAIR

    ATTRIBUTED TO PAUL SAUNDERS, CIRCA 1750

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A GEORGE II WALNUT OPEN ARMCHAIR
    ATTRIBUTED TO PAUL SAUNDERS, CIRCA 1750
    The rectangular arched padded back above foliate, rockwork and cabochon-carved arms and a serpentine seat covered in green wool velvet, with foliate cushion-moulded rails on cabriole legs headed by foliate cabochons and with scrolled foliate-wrapped feet and later lignum vitae anti-friction castors
    39¼ in. (100 cm.) high; 30½ in. (78 cm.) wide; 30 in. (77 cm.) deep


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    Popularly described as a 'French Chair' in mid-18th century pattern-books issued by Thomas Chippendale and others, this magnificent chair is conceived in the George II French/antique manner, and sculpted with picturesque golden bas-reliefs to recall the sun-deity Apollo's fusion of the Elements. Its serpentined frame presents a triumphal arched and cupid-bowed cresting that is echoed by the lambrequined rails, whose centres display shell-scalloped cartouches of Roman acanthus flanked by pearled 'paterae' discs; while bubbled cartouches enrich the arm-pillars and the truss-scrolled columnar legs, which terminate in Ionic-waved volutes. Such frames well suited the fashionable floral tapestry seats manufactured by the Soho tapestry-weaver and cabinet-maker William Bradshaw (d.1775), who invoiced related chairs supplied in 1742 for Ditchley, Oxfordshire. In the 1750s his workshop was taken over by George Smith Bradshaw in partnership with Paul Saunders (see J. Cornforth, 'How French style touched the Georgian Drawing Room', Country Life, 6 January 2000, pp. 51-55; and J. Cornforth, Early Georgian Interiors, London, 2004, figs. 393 and 394).

    A pair of chairs, almost certainly from the same set, was sold by the late R. W. Miller Esq., Christie's, London, 21 January 1960, lot 43, and subsequently acquired by the J. Paul Getty Museum.

    Special Notice

    No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 15% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.


    Provenance

    Stephen Moore Ltd, Lewes, East Sussex, 8 August 1959.