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    Sale 7586

    West ~ East - The Niall Hobhouse Collection

    22 May 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 15

    A SET OF SIX GEORGE II MAHOGANY AND ARMORIAL MARQUETRY HALL CHAIRS

    CIRCA 1740, ATTRIBUTED TO WILLIAM MASTERS

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A SET OF SIX GEORGE II MAHOGANY AND ARMORIAL MARQUETRY HALL CHAIRS
    CIRCA 1740, ATTRIBUTED TO WILLIAM MASTERS
    Each back inlaid with the crest of Sir Thomas Bootle (1685-1753), the dished seat on shaped legs (6)


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    The Lathom House banqueting hall seats, whose form evolved from the Renaissance 'sgabello' back-stool associated with Whitehall's Banqueting House architect Inigo Jones (d. 1652), reflects the fashion promoted by Richard Boyle, 3rd Earl of Burlington as the George II 'Britannia Romana' style. The mahogany of their urn-fretted backs has fine figuring providing crossed rays that issue from the inlaid Bootle armorial crest. The family's shield-bearing lions are displayed in golden cartouche shields comprised of antique-fretted ribbons that are wreathed in Roman foliage, and have asymmetrically scrolled pediments in the Chippendale 'Modern' manner adopted from the French 'picturesque' style. Their urn-shaped trestles have hollowed paterae, like the compass seats, and are fretted in triumphal and gothic-cusped arches, which terminate in bacchic satyr hooves. The trestle paterae served as medallioned armorial shields for seats of this same pattern later executed for Blair Castle, Scotland by the Piccadilly cabinet-maker and upholsterer William Masters (d. 1761) (A. Coleridge, 'William Masters and some early 18th century Furniture at Blair Castle, Scotland', The Connoisseur, October 1963, p. 79, fig. 5). Established in the early 1740s at the Sign of the Golden Fleece in Coventry Street, Masters illustrated the Fleece on his trade-sheet, where it was framed within a similarly 'picturesque' cartouche to that of the Bootle crest of a 'demi-lion rampant..between paws an antique oval shield charged with a cross patonce..'.

    The suite was commissioned by Sir Thomas Bootle (d. 1753), chancellor to Frederick, Prince of Wales (d. 1752); and was almost certainly executed by Masters for Lathom House, Lancashire, which had been designed circa 1740 by the Venetian-born Giacomo Leoni (d. 1746), architect to the Elector Palatine and author of The Architecture of Palladio Revis'd, London, c. 1720.

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    Provenance

    Sir Thomas Bootle (d.1753), Lathom House, Lancashire.
    John (K.J.) Hewett.