• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 12247

    The English Collector: English Furniture, Clocks and Portrait Miniatures

    17 November 2016, London, King Street

  • Lot 108

    A REGENCY EBONISED AND PARCEL-GILT OPEN ARMCHAIR

    IN THE MANNER OF GEORGE SMITH, CIRCA 1810

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A REGENCY EBONISED AND PARCEL-GILT OPEN ARMCHAIR
    IN THE MANNER OF GEORGE SMITH, CIRCA 1810
    The rectangular, curved toprail with acanthus and S-scroll carving above a caned panel and a horizontal turned and acanthus carved rail, the moulded arms with winged lion-mask supports above a caned seat and sabre legs with paw feet, the back legs spliced, stamped 'N.W.'
    34 ½ in. (88 cm.) high; 23 in. (58 cm.) wide; 26 ½ in. (67 cm.) deep


    Contact Client Service
    • info@christies.com

    • New York +1 212 636 2000

    • London +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    • Hong Kong +852 2760 1766

    • Shanghai +86 21 6355 1766

    Contact the department

    This 'Apollo' library-chair is conceived in the richly sculpted antique fashion promoted by George IV, as Prince of Wales, and by the connoisseur Thomas Hope (d.1831) through their patronage of the Rome-trained architect Charles Heathcote Tatham (d.1842). Its golden monopodia of winged-lion griffin derive from a marble antiquity acquired in the 1790s by Tatham (see C.H. Tatham, Etchings Representing the Best Examples of Ancient Ornamental Architecture, London, 1799). On this Grecian seat, such ornaments serve to recall the triumphal Mt. Parnassus chariot adopted by Apollo as poetry deity whose sacred sunflower enriches its scrolled tablet back, while its lyre form corresponds to the 'Apollo's Chair' pattern popularised by Thomas Sheraton's Encyclopaedia, 1804-7 (pl. 10). Prince George's 'Upholder Extraordinary' George Smith introduced the 'Tatham griffin' pattern in a 'Library Chair' pattern that he engraved in 1805 for A Collection of Designs for Household Furniture and Interior Decoration, London, 1808 (pl. 46).

    This chair possibly belonged to the collection assembled around 1930 at the Crawford Street home of the fashionable architect and furniture designer Harry Stuart Goodhart Rendel (d.1959) and may be the chair illustrated in situ by C. Hussey, 'Four Regency Homes', Country Life, 1931, p. 454, fig. 10). Goodhart Rendel was one of a distinguished group of collectors that also included the diplomat and architect Lord Gerald Wellesley, later 7th Duke of Wellington, Edward Knoblock and Sir Albert Richardson, responsible for a revival in popularity of the Regency during the inter-war years.

    Special Notice

    Specified lots (sold and unsold) marked with a filled square not collected from Christie’s by 5.00 pm on the day of the sale will, at our option, be removed to Cadogan Tate. Christie’s will inform you if the lot has been sent offsite. Our removal and storage of the lot is subject to the terms and conditions of storage which can be found at Christies.com/storage and our fees for storage are set out in the table. These will apply whether the lot remains with Christie’s or is removed elsewhere. If the lot is transferred to Cadogan Tate, it will be available for collection from 12 noon on the second business day following the sale. If the lot remains at Christie’s it will be available for collection on any working day 9.00am to 5.00pm. Lots are not available for collection at weekends.


    Provenance

    Possibly Harry Stuart Goodhart Rendel, Esq., circa 1930.


    Literature

    Ralph Edwards, The Dictionary of English Furniture, rev. ed. Vol. I, London, 1954, p.312, fig. 282
    Margaret Jourdain, Regency Furniture 1795-1830, London, 1965, p.50, fig. 82