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A PAIR OF GEORGE I WALNUT AND MARQUETRY SIDE CHAIRS
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A PAIR OF GEORGE I WALNUT AND MARQUETRY SIDE CHAIRS

Details
A PAIR OF GEORGE I WALNUT AND MARQUETRY SIDE CHAIRS
Each with a foliage-carved shaped toprail above a curved vase-shaped splat inlaid with scrolling foliage and a padded seat covered in gold velvet, on square cabriole legs inlaid with foliage panels, on square pad feet, one with printed paper label 'Antique Dealers' Fair Grosvenor House, W1 Year ' and inscribed in ink '1960', one toprail replaced, the seatrail on one chair damaged in two places
45 in. (114.5 cm.) high; 23 in. (58.5 cm.) wide (2)
Exhibited
London, Grosvenor House Antique Dealers' Fair, 1960.
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

Lot Essay

In the early 18th Century, this elegant form of serpentined parlour chair with vase splat was associated with imports of the East India Companies trading with China and retailed as 'Indian' or 'India-backed', or more simply as 'bended' or 'sweep backed'. In George I's reign, a related chair pattern, likewise incorporating an open-fretted cartouche, featured as the St. Paul's Churchyard sign of Thomas Cleare, who traded at the 'Indian Chair' and retailed 'all sorts of chairs of the newest and best fashion, wholesale or retail, at reasonable rates' (A. Bowett, 'Myths of English Furniture History: Anglo-Dutch', Antique Collecting, October 1999, p. 33, fig. 9). The present chairs are filigreed in the French manner with cartouches of beribboned Roman acanthus in the Louis Quatorze 'Roman' style popularised around by the engravings of the Oeuvre of Daniel Marot (d. 1752), 'architect' to William III. Their arched crests, above the open scalloped cartouches, incorporate addorsed dolphins that are tied by husk-festooned ribbons. Such carved crests sometimes incorporated heraldic devices, so these dolphin heads, while evoking the triumph of the nature deity Venus, could also serve as the heraldic device of a family such as the Courtenays, Earls of Devon, of Powderham Castle, Devon. This form of chair was generally fitted with a loose squab within a veneered seat-frame and were often caned. The voluted capitals of their serpentined truss-pilaster legs are also filigreed above reeded collars. The same filigreed pattern also appeared on the backs and legs of a related pair of chairs sold anonymously, Christie's New York, 19 October 2000, lot 28.
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