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    Sale 1993

    Important English Furniture

    25 April 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 32

    A PAIR OF EARLY GEORGE II WALNUT OPEN ARMCHAIRS

    CIRCA 1730, THE REAR LEGS BEECH AND LATER

    Price Realised  

    A PAIR OF EARLY GEORGE II WALNUT OPEN ARMCHAIRS
    CIRCA 1730, THE REAR LEGS BEECH AND LATER
    Each with a rectangular back, with open outsplayed armrests with eagle head terminals, covered in elephant and tiger-decorated green and red cut-velvet button-tufted covers, with shell-headed cabriole legs on claw feet, later brace supports (2)


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    The design of these chairs is closely related to that of the Houghton eagle suite, of which one pair was sold in the Houghton sale, Christie's, London, 8 December 1994, lot 130. The Houghton suite was supplied to Sir Robert Walpole, later 1st Earl of Orford (1676-1745) for the Marble Parlour, in the early 1730s.

    The original location of the Bolton chairs is not known. James Gibbs built a new house at Cannam Heath in Hampshire for the 3rd Duke of Bolton (d.1754). Cannam Heath was a comparatively modest house and it is tempting to suggest that these chairs were supplied for the still 17th Century house at Hackwood Park nearby. Unfortunately these chairs are not identifiable in the 1765 inventory of Hackwood which shows the house very largely refurnished in a fashionable style after John Vardy's alterations of the early 1760s. Furthermore the 3rd Duke is known to have used Hackwood very little although he did commission plans for its alteration from James Gibbs which were never executed.

    Provenance

    Probably supplied to the 3rd Duke of Bolton (d. 1754), possibly for the house designed for him by James Gibbs circa 1725 at Cannam Heath, Hampshire, and by descent to the Lords Bolton at Bolton Hall, Yorkshire.
    Thence by descent to The Lord Bolton, Christie's, London, 5 December 1991, lot 250 (a set of four).
    Anonymous sale; Christie's, London, 13 November 1997, lot 80 (a matching pair sold lot 81).