• The Manolo March Collection Fr auction at Christies

    Sale 7817

    The Manolo March Collection From Son Galcerán, Mallorca

    28 - 29 October 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 49

    A SET OF FOUR CHINESE-EXPORT AUBERGINE AND GILT-JAPANNED SIDE CHAIRS

    CIRCA 1730, PROBABLY ASSEMBLED IN ENGLAND

    Price Realised  

    A SET OF FOUR CHINESE-EXPORT AUBERGINE AND GILT-JAPANNED SIDE CHAIRS
    CIRCA 1730, PROBABLY ASSEMBLED IN ENGLAND
    Each with a pierced vase splat and waisted back above a green velvet-covered drop-in seat, on cabriole legs and pad feet, one with paper label inscribed in ink '...20', refreshments to decoration
    41 in. (104 cm.) high; 22½ in. (57 cm.) wide; 21 in. (53.5 cm.) deep (4)


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    These East India Company chairs, imported from China, are of George I 'parlour chair' form. Known at the period as 'India-back' chairs, they are embellished with golden ornament, whose flowers and lakeside landscapes relate to that of a small Cantonese cabinet that was made about 1720 and housed a model of a European merchant (discussed by Craig Clunas in 'Moulding a Physiognomy - A Chinese Portrait Figure', The V & A Album, vol. 3, 1984 pp.46-51 and figs. 7 and 6).

    The first record of Chinese Export chairs being imported into England occurs in 1726, when '24 Chairs of rosewood inlaid with mother of pearl' were brought in at a total value of £12. In 1727, the first record of lacquered chairs occurs and by the 1730s importations of both rosewood, padouk and lacquered chairs were comparatively commonplace. Similar chairs were acquired by Sir Francis Greville (1719-73), 8th Baron Brooke, later 1st Earl of Warwick for Warwick Castle, Warwickshire (including a pair in the Victoria and Albert Museum and another pair sold from the collection of Simon Sainsbury, Christies London, 18 June 2008, lot 185), as well as those at Beningborugh Hall, Yorkshire, discussed in A. Bowett, 'Some Chinese Influences on early Georgian Furniture', Antique Collector's Club, 2007, fig.10. A further set of twelve closely related Export lacquer chairs - decorated with the monogram of King Christian IV and Queen Sophie Magdalene of Denmark - were brought back from China in 1735 and have remained in Fredensborg Castle since then (J. Clemmensen, 'Some Furniture Made in China in the English Style, Exported from Canton to Denmark 1735, 1737 and 1738', Furniture History Society Journal, 1985, p. 175, figs. 1-3). Another set of six - although lacking their original seats - was formerly in the collection of Mona, Countess Bismarck (the latter advertised in Pelham Galleries, Catalogue , London, 1989).

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