A PAIR OF GEORGE III GILTWOOD ARMCHAIRS
A PAIR OF GEORGE III GILTWOOD ARMCHAIRS
A PAIR OF GEORGE III GILTWOOD ARMCHAIRS
8 More
A PAIR OF GEORGE III GILTWOOD ARMCHAIRS
11 More
This lot will be stored at Crozier Park Royal and … Read more
A PAIR OF GEORGE III GILTWOOD ARMCHAIRS

CIRCA 1770-75, POSSIBLY BY INCE AND MAYHEW

Details
A PAIR OF GEORGE III GILTWOOD ARMCHAIRS
CIRCA 1770-75, POSSIBLY BY INCE AND MAYHEW
Each with an oval padded back headed by a lion mask and wrapped with acanthus, the downcurved arms carved with drapery and headed by further lion masks, above a padded serpentine seat, the front rail centred by a satyr mask and acanthus, on square panelled and husk-carved legs terminating in rosette-blocks and ball feet, re-gilt, minor differences to carving and dimensions, one chair with cramp cuts to the back seat rail and indistinct inscription
40 ½ in. (103 cm.) high; 26 ¾ in. (68 cm.) wide; 25 ½ in. (65 cm.) deep
Provenance
Probably commissioned by Sir John Mordaunt Cope, 8th Bt. (d. 1779), either for Bramshill, Hants, or for a London residence.
Possibly two from a set of six sold by Sir Anthony M.L. Cope, Bt., formerly of Bramshill, Sotheby's, London, 27 April 1956, lot 99.
Literature
‘Bramshill Park, Hampshire: The Seat of Sir Anthony Cope, Bart.’, Country Life, 11 July 1903, p. 56, ‘The State Drawing Room’; and 23 June 1923, p. 886, figs. 1, 2).

COMPARATIVE LITERATURE:
Lucy Wood, The Upholstered Furniture in the Lady Lever Art Gallery, New Haven and London, 2008, vol. II, pp. 617 - 626, no. 57.
Special notice

This lot will be stored at Crozier Park Royal and will be available for collection from 12.00pm on the second business day following the sale. Please call Christie’s Client Service 24 hours in advance to book a collection time at Crozier Park Royal. All collections from Crozier Park Royal will be by pre-booked appointment only. Tel: +44 (0)20 7839 9060 I Email: cscollectionsuk@christies.com.

Brought to you by

Charlotte Young
Charlotte Young Associate Director, Specialist

Check the condition report or get in touch for additional information about this

If you wish to view the condition report of this lot, please sign in to your account.

Sign in
View condition report

Lot Essay


This pair of giltwood chairs is part of a large suite of seat-furniture, comprising at least twelve chairs, formerly at Bramshill Park, Hampshire, seat of the Cope family (illustrated ‘Bramshill Park, Hampshire: The Seat of Sir Anthony Cope, Bart.’, Country Life, 11 July 1903, p. 56, ‘The State Drawing Room’; and 23 June 1923, p. 886, figs. 1, 2). The set was probably commissioned by Sir John Mordaunt Cope, 8th Bt. (1731-79) for his London residence, or for Bramshill. From this set, three of the chairs were acquired by the great collector Sir William Lever, 1st Viscount Leverhulme (1851-1925) from the dealer, D.L. Isaacs, before 14 September 1905, for circa £100, and are now in the Lady Lever Art Gallery, Port Sunlight (L. Wood, The Upholstered Furniture in the Lady Lever Art Gallery, New Haven and London, 2008, vol. II, pp. 617-626). A single chair but with replaced cabriole legs was with the dealer Jacques Seligmann, then gifted by Archer M. Huntington to the Met, New York, in 1936 (36.19). These four chairs may have been part of a group of six as indicated by the pencil numbers on the frames of the Lever chairs, and disposed of following the death of the Rev. Sir William Henry Cope, 12th Bt., in 1892. Six further chairs were sold by Sir Anthony M.L. Cope, Bt. from Bramshill, Sotheby's, London, 27 April 1956, lot 99. The latter six chairs were later in the Astor collection at Cliveden; at least two chairs remain in the possession of Lord Astor (photographed by Country Life, 6 October 2005, p. 94) and were previously photographed on loan in the Boudoir at Berrington Hall, Leominster (NTPL 50470).
There are at least seven sofas of this design but with slight variations suggesting they are from the same workshop but not the same suite. These include: one sold Christie’s, London, 27 November 2003, lot 59; another at Mapledurham House, Oxfordshire; a pair of sofas with Mallett at Bourdon House in 1993 (advertised Country Life, 24 June 1993, p. 45); a sofa with Needhams in 1965, and two in a private collection in 1974 (Wood, 2008, op. cit., figs. 390-392). A sofa of the Mallett/Needham model is depicted in a painting, The Sofa, by R.T. Lonsdale (fl. 1826-46), exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1846 (catalogue no. 72; Wood, ibid., fig. 393). Another sofa reduced in length was sold Christie’s, London, 12 April 2018, lot 262.

SIR WILLIAM CHAMBERS AND INCE & MAYHEW
The lion-pelt motif has led to speculation that these chairs may have been designed by Sir William Chambers (1723-96), based on the decoration of a Chambers chimneypiece, while the cabinet-making firm is possibly William Ince & John Mayhew (1736-1811) (Avery Library, Columbia, reproduced in J. Harris, Sir William Chambers, Knight of the Polar Star, London, 1970, fig. 185). There is a connection between Chambers and Ince & Mayhew; Chambers subcontracted work to craftsmen, and acted as paymaster on projects he was involved in. The bank customer ledgers for Chambers at Drummonds Bank show he was regularly employing the same craftsmen including Ince & Mayhew: in 1766, to ‘Ince & Co.’; in 1771, ‘Receipt Mayhew on Croft & Co 300’ (ibid., pp. 175-176). Certainly, Mayhew was engaged in the period during Chambers’s extensive commission for the 4th Duke of Marlborough at Blenheim Palace beginning in late 1769 (ibid., p. 199).
The distinctive arched back, with hollowed base-rail, corresponds to a form adopted by Ince & Mayhew; see the suite supplied in the 1780s for Chirk Castle, Wrexham (C. Hussey, 'Chirk Castle, Denbighshire, - IV', Country Life, 12 October 1951, p. 1149, fig. 4 and G. Beard & C. Gilbert (eds.), The Dictionary of English Furniture Makers, Leeds, 1986, p. 596). In addition these chairs exhibit the characteristic Ince & Mayhew panelled leg that relates very closely to those found on chairs supplied to the Earl of Darnley at Cobham Hall, Kent, one of the firm's most enduring clients (C. Cator, 'The Earl of Kerry and Mayhew and Ince: The Idlest Ostentation', Furniture History, 1990, pp. 27-29). In addition, Ince & Mayhew notably incorporated idiosyncratic zoomorphic motifs to enhance their furniture – see the ram’s head masks on a pair of urns supplied by the partnership for Lord Kerry’s Dining Room at Portman Square, now in the Lady Lever Art Gallery, Port Sunlight (ibid., figs. 3, 4); the carved giltwood dolphins, originally part of the cresting of one of the pier glasses in the Oval Drawing Room, part of the partnership's 1785 commission for James Alexander, 1st Earl of Caledon (H. Roberts, ‘Unequall’d Elegance…’, Furniture History, 2009, fig. 8); and on a pair of marquetry tripod stands, with ivory ram’s head capitals, attributed to Ince & Mayhew, sold Christie’s, London, 5 July 2012, lot 32.
;

Related Articles

View all
The A-Z of furniture: Terminol auction at Christies
Virtual tour | American Art an auction at Christies
20th/21st Century sale week ex auction at Christies

More from Mackinnon: Fine Furniture and Works of Art

View All
View All