• 500 Years: Decorative Arts Eur auction at Christies

    Sale 7841

    500 Years: Decorative Arts Europe

    29 April 2010, London, King Street

  • Lot 81

    A SET OF TEN GEORGE III EBONISED AND POLYCHROME-DECORATED ARMCHAIRS

    LATE 18TH CENTURY

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A SET OF TEN GEORGE III EBONISED AND POLYCHROME-DECORATED ARMCHAIRS
    LATE 18TH CENTURY
    Each with a pierced shield-shaped back with a ribbon and swag splat and downcurved arms above a green leather-covered padded seat, on square tapering legs joined by stretchers, the arms and splats repaired
    37½ in. (95 cm.) high; 21 in. (53 cm.) wide; 20 in. (51 cm.) deep (10)


    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

    Abbey Leix has been in the hands of the de Vesci family since the late 17th century when Thomas Vesey was granted rights by the Crown to establish a demesne on the site of an ancient abbey. He was succeeded by his son John Denny Vesey, second Baronet, who was elevated to the peerage of Ireland as Baron Knapton in 1730, but it was his son, Thomas, second Baron Knapton, who in 1773 commenced the building of the house at Abbeyleix, employing the Architect James Wyatt who had recently triumphantly completed the Pantheon in London and was rivalled only by Robert Adam as the most fashionable architect of the period. Thomas was created Viscount de Vesci in 1776, and set about creating a new town at Abbeyleix with awide tree-lined main street and a good water supply.

    The house itself featured several examples of the light decorative plasterwork for which Wyatt was renowned, and the family lived in a most relaxed atmosphere. Writing in 1778 Lady Caroline Dawson, later Countess of Portarlington commented on their state of living as 'entirely without form, everybody doing as they please', adding that the drawing room in particular had 'a most comfortable appearance'.

    Special Notice

    No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 17.5% will be added to the buyer's premium, which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.


    Provenance

    Almost certainly Thomas Vesey, second Baron Knapton and Viscount de Vesci, Abbey Leix, Co. Laois, Ireland
    and by descent.


    Pre-Lot Text

    THE PROPERTY OF A GENTLEMAN (LOTS 81-82)


    Literature

    J. O'Brien and D. Guinness, Great Irish Houses and Castles, London, 1992, p.114, [one illustrated in the drawing room].