10 chairs, 10 styles

10 chairs, 10 styles

Picked by 10 Christie’s specialists — and offered in our forthcoming Interiors and Living with Art sales, in London and New York respectively

  • 1
  • William and Mary

William and Mary Walnut Dining Chairs. Estimate $10,000-20,000. This lot is offered in the Living with Art sale on 23-24 August at Christie’s New York

William and Mary Walnut Dining Chairs. Estimate: $10,000-20,000. This lot is offered in the Living with Art sale on 23-24 August at Christie’s New York

‘The William and Mary style is named after the King and Queen — originally from Holland — who reigned over England, Scotland and Ireland from 1689 to 1694. These chairs are a testimony to the rising demand at the end of the 17th century for furniture that would provide both comfort and luxury.’ Astrid Malingreau, Decorative Arts Specialist 

  • 2
  • Georgian

George III Mahogany Armchairs. Estimate £1,200-1,800. This lot is offered in the Interiors sale on 17 August at Christie’s South Kensington

George III Mahogany Armchairs. Estimate: £1,200-1,800. This lot is offered in the Interiors sale on 17 August at Christie’s South Kensington

‘These graceful and comfortable 18th-century chairs are typically English. The pierced backs, also known as splats, recall the gothic tracery of stained-glass windows which can be seen on many chairs of this period. Both the curved, outswept arms and serpentine toprails provide a contrast to the straight H-stretchers connecting the legs below.’ Lily Faber, Furniture Specialist

  • 3
  • Empire

An Empire Ormolu-Mounted Mahogany Fauteuil de Bureau. Estimate $3,000-5,000. This lot is offered in the Living with Art sale on 23-24 August at Christie’s New York
An Empire Ormolu-Mounted Mahogany Fauteuil de Bureau. Estimate: $3,000-5,000. This lot is offered in the Living with Art sale on 23-24 August at Christie’s New York

 ‘I love the opulence and textures of Empire furniture. Here, ormolu lion heads and leafy relief carvings bring flora and fauna into a sleek, mahogany form. The pattern of the wood itself adds even more visual interest and draws the eye around the surface.’ Cara Zimmerman, American Furniture Specialist

  • 4
  • Regency

A Mahogany Metamorphic Library StepArmchair. Estimate £1,000-1,500. This lot is offered in the Interiors sale on 17 August at Christie’s South Kensington

A Mahogany Metamorphic Library Step/Armchair. Estimate: £1,000-1,500. This lot is offered in the Interiors sale on 17 August at Christie’s South Kensington

‘Regency cabinetmakers Thomas Morgan and Joseph Sanders specialised in the manufacture of innovative, often metamorphic, furniture. The design for this chair was first published in Rudolph Ackermann’s 1811 Repository of Arts, where its novel form was celebrated as “the best and handsomest article ever yet invented, where two complete pieces of furniture are combined in one” — an elegant and truly comfortable armchair and a set of library steps.’ Simon Green, Furniture Senior Specialist 

  • 5
  • Gothic Revival

Gothic Revival Beechwood and Parcel-Ebonized Hall Chairs. Estimate $800-1,200. This lot is offered in the Living with Art sale on 23-24 August at Christie’s New York

Gothic Revival Beechwood and Parcel-Ebonized Hall Chairs. Estimate: $800-1,200. This lot is offered in the Living with Art sale on 23-24 August at Christie’s New York

‘Between 1840 and 1900 designers turned to more than half a dozen earlier styles for inspiration. The Gothic Revival is the first of several mid-19th-century styles explicitly labelled “revival”. This Gothic vocabulary gradually permeated all forms of art, including the decorative arts. Designs for this type of furniture were first published in England by Thomas Chippendale in his Gentleman and Cabinet-Maker’s Director in 1754. They show straight legs, tracery, trefoils and chair splats that form pointed arches, which were adopted through the use of Gothic architectural ornaments. The pair of chairs presented here are a very fine example of the use of Gothic motifs within the decorative arts.’ Emily Shwajlyk, Decorative Arts Specialist 

  • 6
  • 19th-Century Russian

Russian Mahogany and Parcel-Gilt Armchairs, circa 1820. Estimate $5,000-8,000. This lot is offered in the Living with Art sale on 23-24 August at Christie’s New York

Russian Mahogany and Parcel-Gilt Armchairs, circa 1820. Estimate: $5,000-8,000. This lot is offered in the Living with Art sale on 23-24 August at Christie’s New York

‘This stylish pair of Russian chairs were in the collection of the Grand Duke Michael Mikhailovich of Russia at his residence in Cannes, the Villa Kazbek.’ Natalie Voorheis, Decorative Arts Specialist

  • 7
  • Late Regency

Regency Mahogany Caned Library Bergère. Estimate £2,000-3,000. This lot is offered in the Interiors sale on 17 August at Christie’s South Kensington

Regency Mahogany Caned Library Bergère. Estimate: £2,000-3,000. This lot is offered in the Interiors sale on 17 August at Christie’s South Kensington

‘This dignified library bergère displays typical characteristics of the late Regency style. The reeded arm supports and legs are common to furniture design of this period and were used in many designs by furniture-makers such as Gillows. The chair’s rich mahogany figuring and clean lines would suit many a room, and not just a library.’ Nathaniel Nicholson, Private Collections Specialist

  • 8
  • Victorian garden seats

Victorian Cast-Iron Garden Seats. Estimate £800-1,200. This lot is offered in the Interiors sale on 17 August at Christie’s South Kensington

Victorian Cast-Iron Garden Seats. Estimate: £800-1,200. This lot is offered in the Interiors sale on 17 August at Christie’s South Kensington

‘The mid-19th century saw a move towards nature as a model for artistic design. The “Vine Pattern Garden Seat”, first cast around 1850 by Charles D. Young, Edinburgh, and the “Fern and Blackberry” design registered by the Coalbrookdale Company in 1858, are two examples of this embracing of “naturalism”. These two models proved very popular throughout the Continent and were also produced by American foundries in the second half of the 19th century.’ Harriet Homfray, Furniture Specialist 

  • 9
  • Late Victorian/Edwardian

Late Victorian or Edwardian Easy Armchairs by Howard & Sons Ltd. Estimate £5,000-8,000. This lot is offered in the Interiors sale on 17 August at Christie’s South Kensington

Late Victorian or Edwardian Easy Armchairs by Howard & Sons Ltd. Estimate: £5,000-8,000. This lot is offered in the Interiors sale on 17 August at Christie’s South Kensington

Howard & Sons is now most famous for the comfort and elegance of its easy armchairs and sofas, but it was also one of the most successful and well-known of the big Victorian cabinet-making firms. Formed by John Howard in 1820, its first premises were in Leman Street in East London circa 1820, and after several relocations within the Whitechapel area it moved to sought-after premises on Berners Street in the West End in the 1840s. The firm remained on Berners Street for the rest of the century, earning a Royal Warrant in 1901.’ Celia Harvey, Furniture Specialist

  • 10
  • Mid-Century Modern

American Shell-Form Back Lucite Dining Chairs. Estimate $5,000-7,000. This lot is offered in the Living with Art sale on 23-24 August at Christie’s New York

American Shell-Form Back Lucite Dining Chairs. Estimate: $5,000-7,000. This lot is offered in the Living with Art sale on 23-24 August at Christie’s New York

‘At first glance this quirky set of Lucite chairs screams modern design, but a closer inspection reveals links to the past. The shell-form back recalls 18th-century rocaille forms, and is most likely referencing Thomas Chippendale’s scallop-shell garden seat pattern illustrated in The Gentleman and Cabinet-Maker's Director, 1762, where it was described as particularly well-suited for “Grottos”.’ Alison Charny, Decorative Arts Specialist