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    Sale 7816

    Le Grand Goût - A Private European Collection

    17 June 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 45

    A SET OF SIX GEORGE III GILTWOOD SIDE CHAIRS

    CIRCA 1765-70, ATTRIBUTED TO THOMAS CHIPPENDALE

    Price Realised  

    A SET OF SIX GEORGE III GILTWOOD SIDE CHAIRS
    CIRCA 1765-70, ATTRIBUTED TO THOMAS CHIPPENDALE
    Each with shaped back and rounded seat, two upholstered in laurel wreath striped silk, four in yellow and ivory floral silk, two in grey and ivory floral silk, on cabriole legs headed by acanthus and palmette with trailing husks, on inscrolled feet, the back legs splayed, re-gilt, with batten carrying-holes and cramp cuts
    34½ in. (87.5 cm.) high; 23 in. (58.5 cm.) wide; 21 in. (53 cm.) deep (6)


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    These triumphal-arched and lyre-scrolled chairs have their truss-scrolled legs appropriately sculpted for rooms-of-entertainment and salons designed in the antique manner of George III's Rome-trained court architects Sir William Chambers (d. 1796) and Robert Adam (d. 1792). Originally from a larger suite at Luttrellstown, the settee was sold in the same lot in the 1983 house sale. These chairs bear all the confidence of line and carving that are the hallmarks of Chippendale's seat furniture. Moreover, the constructional use of cramp cuts and batten carrying-holes, seen on many pieces of documented furniture supplied by Thomas Chippendale, reinforces the attribution of these chairs to Chippendale's workshop. Chippendale supplied four chairs with very closely-related legs for the Couch Room at Harewood House circa 1770 (C. Gilbert, The Life and Work of Thomas Chippendale, 1978, vol. II, fig. 182).

    Their Roman-medallioned seats evoke the lyric poets' accounts of Arcadia and sacrifices at love's altar in antiquity; and would have been wreathed by golden Venus pearls in their brass-nailing; while Apollonian triumphal palms, laurels and sunflowers enrich the trusses of their Pan reeded and scallop-fluted legs that are festooned in Roman acanthus and terminate in waved volutes on altar plinths. Similar foliage issuing from sacred columbariums featured in a pattern-book entitled Sketches of Ornament (1779) issued by Thomas Chippendale Junior (d. 1822), who traded in St. Martin's Lane, Charing Cross, at the Sign of the Chair. The Grecian acrotia-like palm became a favourite Chippendale motif after it had been introduced in the mid-1760s by Adam on chairs that Thomas Chippendale Senior (d. 1779) manufactured for no. 19 Arlington Street (Gilbert, op. cit., figs. 142 & 176).

    Special Notice

    VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price and at 15% on the buyer's premium


    Provenance

    The Hon. Mrs Aileen Plunket, Luttrellstown Castle, Co. Dublin, Ireland; Sold Christie's house sale, 26-28 December 1983, lot 218 (part of a set of twelve chairs and a sofa).
    Acquired from Partridge, London.


    Literature

    D. Guinness, Irish Houses and Castles, London, 1971, p. 59