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A PAIR OF GEORGE II GILTWOOD ARMCHAIRS
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A PAIR OF GEORGE II GILTWOOD ARMCHAIRS

IN THE MANNER OF THOMAS CHIPPENDALE

Details
A PAIR OF GEORGE II GILTWOOD ARMCHAIRS
In the manner of Thomas Chippendale
Each with close-nailed padded back, arms and seat covered in ochre velvet, the cartouche-shaped back carved with acanthus husks and foliage on a trelliswork ground centred by a pierced rockwork cabochon, the outcurved arms with acanthus-wrapped scroll terminals and supports, the serpentine seat-rail centred by scrolled acanthus, on cabochon-headed cabriole legs and scroll feet, regilt, traces of earlier gilding, one leg with repaired break (2)
Provenance
Probably supplied to John Bury, who inherited Redwood, Tullamore, Co. Offaly, from his uncle Charles Moore, 1st Earl of Charleville (d. 1764). His son Charles was created 1st Earl of Charleville (d. 1835) of the 2nd creation and he built Charleville Castle on the estate at Tullamore and by descent to
Lady Emily Howard-Bury (d. 1931), Charleville Forest, Tullamore, daughter of the 3rd Earl of Charleville and by descent to her son
Colonel Charles Howard-Bury of Belvedere, Mullingar, Co. Westmeath and by descent to
Rex Beaumont, Esq., Belvedere House, Mullingar, sold in these Rooms, 23 November 1967, lot 105 (a set of four).
Anonymous sale, in these Rooms, 20 November 1986, lot 20.
Anonymous sale, Sotheby's New York, 12-13 April 1996, lot 460.
Literature
M. Girouard, 'Charleville Forest', Country Life, 27 September 1962, figs. 5 and 6.
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

The chairs' picturesque style relates to that featured in Thomas Chippendale's shop-sign, when he opened his St Martin's Lane workshops in the early 1750s, and to a 'French Chair' pattern engraved in 1753 for his The Gentleman and Cabinet-Maker's Director, 1754. The latter's upholstery depicts Chinese Garden vignettes in the fashion popularised through engravings published by one of Chippendale's collaborators, the specialist carver Matthias Darly (d. 1765). These chairs, conceived in Chippendale's 'picturesque' manner, have their serpentined frames enriched with husk-festooned Roman acanthus, while their 'Cupid's bow' crests are hollowed and shell-scalloped beneath fretted cartouches whose embossments serve like a triumphal love trophy, by recalling 'Cupid's target'. Further target embossments, as Chippendale called them, are displayed on the arms and legs, whose voluted trusses evolved from the Roman fashion introduced the previous century by the court architect Inigo Jones (d. 1652). Such targets also feature in his highly popular 'new-pattern' parlour chair illustrated in both the 1754 (pl. XII) and 1762 (pl. XIII) editions of his Director, and the target displayed in an open fret above a scalloped lambrequin features in his 1759 bed pattern illustrated in the later edition (pl. XXXIX).
In particular their same arm pattern features on the similarly styled Coronation throne that was commissioned in 176l for George III, and whose cresting displays the King's cypher on an embossed cartouche. The throne was executed at the Strand workshops of Katherine Naish, who had inherited the court chair manufactory established by her father Henry Williams (d. 1759). The throne was upholstered by Messrs Vile and Cobb, who were Chippendale's neighbours in St. Martin's Lane (see H. Roberts 'Royal Thrones, l760-l840', Furniture History, 1989, p. 78, fig. 1).
The chairs may have been commissioned by John Bury, who inherited the estate of Redwood, Co. Offaly in l764 and in the same year entertained the 2nd Earl of Northumberland, who served as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. A pair of armchairs from this suite, upholstered in needlework with the cypher 'C' ensigned with the Earl's coronet, was at one time at Charleville Forest, Ireland in the possession of Colonel C.K. Howard-Bury (d. 1963) (see M. Girouard, Town and Country, London, 1992, p. 114). The latter are likely to have formed part of the set of four armchairs sold by Rex Beaumont, Esq., Belvedere House, Mullingar, Co. Westmeath, in these Rooms, 23 November 1967, lot 105. A pair of fruitwood armchairs of closely related pattern and reputedly supplied to Lord Clive for Walcot, Shropshire was sold anonymously, Christie's New York, 13 April 2000, lot 93.
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