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    Sale 7561

    Simon Sainsbury The Creation of an English Arcadia

    18 June 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 284

    A PAIR OF WILLIAM AND MARY EBONISED STOOLS

    CIRCA 1695-1700, POSSIBLY BY THOMAS ROBERTS

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A PAIR OF WILLIAM AND MARY EBONISED STOOLS
    CIRCA 1695-1700, POSSIBLY BY THOMAS ROBERTS
    Each with tasselled cushion seat covered in Fortuny fabric, on moulded scrolled supports joined by arched pierced stretchers carved with strapwork, flowerheads and with baluster turned H-stretchers, one seat-rail inscribed 'Green', one stool with one replaced stretcher, the other with two replaced seat rails, the decoration refreshed and apparently previously gilded
    Each 23 in. (59 cm.) high, 26 in. (66 cm.) wide, 21 in. (53 cm.) deep


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    Adam Bowett considers the widespread adoption of the horsebone leg in the mid-1680's to be the result of the influence of the Royal chairmaker Thomas Roberts. Differring to the previously common double scroll leg by featuring a pronounced 'break' in the scroll, the foot being scrolled forwards rather than back, this design was first depicted in Francis Sandford's History of the Coronation of James II and Queen Mary published in 1687. The angled or 'corner' horsebone was to become common in the 1690's. The prominently arched stretcher - as displayed on the Hinton stools - was introduced around 1700, and many of Thomas Roberts' bills of this period specifically mention this feature:- 'for six square stoole frames walnuttree feet and arched rails carved and pollished' (1703) (A. Bowett, English Furniture 1660 - 1714, From Charles II to Queen Anne, Woodbridge, p. 100, pp. 236 - 241, and p. 250).


    HINTON HOUSE

    There has been a house at Hinton since 1490 but very little of the original building remains. With the family's newly elevated status in 1627, the 1st Baron Poulett (d. 1649) improved and enlarged the house accordingly. In 1650 the estate ledgers show extensive building work was carried out, resulting in two further wings. In the early 18th Century, John, 1st Earl Poulett (1663-1743) remodelled the Long Gallery. It was presumably for this newly completed Long Gallery that these stools - from a suite of Parade furniture - were commissioned, along with further suite of ebonised and parcel-gilt seat-furniture - undoubtedly executed by the same hand and comprising a pair of wing armchairs, ten side chairs and a pair of stools was sold from Hinton at Sotheby's London, 1 November 1968, lot 41.

    Subsequently altered for John, 4th Earl Poulett (1756-1819) by both Soane and James Wyatt (1746-1813), the contents of Hinton House were sold by George, 8th Earl Poulett (d. 1973) in sales at Sotheby's, London, 1 November and 8 November 1968, and 28 March 1969.


    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

    Almost certainly commissioned by John, 1st Earl Poulett (d.1743) for Hinton House, Hinton St. George, Somerset.
    Thence by descent to George, 8th Earl Poulett (d.1973) at Hinton.
    Acquired from Christopher Gibbs, 9 December 1974.


    Literature

    C.G. Winn, The Pouletts of Hinton St George, Privately Printed, 1976 (one of the stools illustrated in situ).