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    Sale 7727

    Important English Furniture and Clocks

    4 June 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 98

    A PAIR OF GEORGE II WALNUT ARMCHAIRS

    ATTRIBUTED TO GILES GRENDEY, CIRCA 1730

    Price Realised  

    A PAIR OF GEORGE II WALNUT ARMCHAIRS
    ATTRIBUTED TO GILES GRENDEY, CIRCA 1730
    The arched and imbricated toprail above a pierced acanthus and shell-carved splat and scrolled stiles, the arms with lion mask-carved terminals above a padded seat covered in red silk-damask and with cartouche-carved front rail, on acanthus and shell-headed cabriole legs with hairy paw feet, each inscribed in chalk 'E2745', seatrails with new wood capping for upholstery, previously with castors, minor variation in detail
    40½ in. (103 cm.) high; 29½ in. (75 cm.) wide; 27 in. (69 cm.) deep (2)


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    The chairs festive Apollonian lyre and bacchic ribbon-scrolled backs are ornamented in celebration of Venus water-birth, appropriate to the George II Roman fashioned Eating Parlours of the 1730s. Roman foliage festoons the scalloped and scale-imbricated cartouches of the nature deitys dolphin-drawn shell carriages that label the triumphal arched crestings, and issue from the antique-fluted India vase splats bearing her shell badge displayed on hollowed altar-plinths. The Feasts of Venus, shared with Bacchus, are recalled by the bacchic lion paws that issue from veil-draped acanthus embellishing their trussed columnar legs. This back pattern appears to have been invented for chairs commissioned for Hinton House, Somerset, and now attributed to the Clerkenwell cabinet-maker Giles Grendey (d. 1780). Six of the latter side chairs sold anonymously, Sotheby's, London, 1 November 1968, lot 58 are related to a set of 'Chippendale' chairs, that were almost certainly in the possession of D.L. Isaacs in 1912 (L. Wood, The Upholstered Furniture in the Lady Lever Art Gallery, 2008, vol. I, no. 21).

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    Saleroom Notice

    Additional provenance for this pair of armchairs:

    William Randolph Hearst, Esq., Christie's, London, 18 May 1939, lot 44 (199.10).
    Anonymous sale, Christie's, London, 28 October 1954, lot 100 to M. Harris (609).
    Anonymous sale, Sotheby's New York, 26 October 2002, lot 1916