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    Sale 7560

    Furniture and Carpets Including Two Private Collections

    24 January 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 288

    A PAIR OF GEORGE III MAHOGANY SIDE CHAIRS

    THIRD QUARTER 18TH CENTURY

    Price Realised  

    A PAIR OF GEORGE III MAHOGANY SIDE CHAIRS
    THIRD QUARTER 18TH CENTURY
    Each with an arched back with a pierced vase-shaped splat with a classical urn issuing foliage and flanked by scrolls and swags of husks, the arched padded seat covered in foliate-patterned gold silk, on fluted tapering legs headed by foliage and beading, with ball feet, one chair stamped 'GB' and the other 'AB'
    36¼ in. (92 cm.) high; 22¾ in. (57.5 cm.) wide; 19¼ in. (49 cm.) deep (2)


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    The chairs, with 'Venus' roses flowering the centres and columnar corners of the seat-rails and crests, are designed in the 1770s George III French antique style. Palms flower their antique-fluted legs; while the pillars of their laurel-festooned and triumphal-arched 'cabriolet' backs are hollowed like the richly fretted splats. Likewise flowered with palms, the splats' voluted ribbon-scrolls evoke antique sacrificial tripods and incorporate laurelled sacred urns that recall the contemporary fashion for Etruscan-columbaria or vase-chambers as promoted by the Rome-trained court architects. This ornament closely relates to the furniture designs of the celebrated architect James Wyatt (d. 1813), such as the palm-flowered parlour chairs, with urn-centred Roman medallion backs, that were executed for Heveningham, Suffolk (J. Cornforth, 'In Search of Distinction', Country Life, 23 May 1996, pp. 58-61, fig. 8). In particular the splats relate to those of chairs sketched on the back of an envelope sent by James Wyatt to his Irish collaborator and executant architect Thomas Penrose (F. Fergusson, 'Wyatt Chairs: Rethinking the Adam Heritage', Burlington Magazine, July 1977, pp. 493-496, fig. 35). The same pattern of back, and journeyman brands, featured on armchairs sold at Christie's, London, 10 March 1955, lot 99 and again on a set of chairs sold anonymously, Christie's South Kensington, 4 March 2007, lot 230.

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