Attributed to Giles Grendey, Circa 1740-45
The rectangular back, shaped arms and seat cushion upholstered in red ground floral garland printed cotton, on acanthus-carved cabriole legs with further acanthus-wrapped scrolled toes on recessed leather casters
60in. (152.5cm.) long
Possibly Gunton Hall, Hanworth, Norfolk.
Acquired from Jonathan Harris, London.

Lot Essay

This settee can be firmly attributed to the workshop of cabinet-maker Giles Grendey (1693-1780), of St. Johns Square, Clerkenwell, London based on virtually identical chairs that bear his workshop's label. This includes a suite of precisely the same model from Gunton Park, Norfolk. A 'two-seater settee' was sold as part of the suite in the Gunton Park house sale conducted by Ireland's, 16-17 and 25-26 September 1980, lot 2014. Even with the lack of a further description this probably precludes this settee as being the one from Gunton Park. A side chair and armchair from the suite are illustrated in P. Macquoid, A History of English Furniture: The Age of Mahogany, London, 1906, vol.II, pp.122-123, figs. 104, 105 and in C. Gilbert, Pictorial Dictionary of Marked London Furniture 1700-1840, London, 1996, p. 243, fig.437). In December 1931, R.W. Symonds refers to Grendey's chair design in an article where he states that although the cabinet-maker did not label all of his work, it is in the case of these distinctly carved, hipped cabriole legs on scroll feet 'that one might infer that all chairs and stools with this leg came from Grendey's workshop' (see R.W. Symonds, 'More about Labelled Furniture', The Connoisseur, December 1931, p. 407, fig. VIII). A library chair with same leg design and hairy paw feet is being sold as lot 188 in this sale.

A set of six chairs of the same design from a West Coast Collection, was sold in these Rooms, 16 October 1998, lot 32 ($112,500). Other chairs of essentially the same design were sold from the Estate of Mrs. John E. Rovensky, Parke-Bernet Galleries Inc., New York, 16 January 1957, lots 586-587; a single sold Sotheby's New York, 13 December 1986, lot 187; a further pair sold Park-Bernet Galleries Inc., New York, 11 April 1967, lot 171. A further suite formerly in the collection of the 1st Viscount Leverhulme is illustrated in M. Harris & Son, A Catalogue and Index of Old Furniture and Works of Art, vol.II, n.d. (c.1925), p. 200.

Grendey had a prolific career, and while he supplied a number of intrinsic mahogany pieces to the local nobililty, he was also very involved in the timber and export business. He is probably best known for the extensive suite of scarlet japanned furniture he executed for the Duke of Infantado's castle at Lazcano, Spain (see C. Gilbert, op.cit, p.31). A japanned linen cabinet attributed to this maker is lot 225 in this sale.

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