A PAIR OF GEORGE II WALNUT ARMCHAIRS
A PAIR OF GEORGE II WALNUT ARMCHAIRS
A PAIR OF GEORGE II WALNUT ARMCHAIRS
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Specified lots are being stored at Crozier Park Ro… Read more PROPERTY OF A LADY (LOTS 127 - 129)
A PAIR OF GEORGE II WALNUT ARMCHAIRS

ATTRIBUTED TO WRIGHT & ELWICK OR PAUL SAUNDERS, CIRCA 1750

Details
A PAIR OF GEORGE II WALNUT ARMCHAIRS
ATTRIBUTED TO WRIGHT & ELWICK OR PAUL SAUNDERS, CIRCA 1750
The foliate-carved and beaded top rail above a padded back, arms and seat, flanked by foliate-carved arms with scrolled terminals, the shaped front rail centred by clasped acanthus and the foliate cabriole legs terminating in scrolled feet, one labelled 'EGR' and inscribed '393'
37 in. (94 cm.) high; 28 in. (71 cm.) wide;27 ½ in. (70 cm.) deep
Provenance
Acquired in the mid-20th century and thence by descent
Literature
COMPARATIVE LITERATURE
C. Claxton-Stevens and S. Whittington, 18th Century English Furniture The Norman Adams Collection, rev. ed. 1985, p.38.
Special notice

Specified lots are being stored at Crozier Park Royal (details below) or will be removed from Christie’s, 8 King Street, London, SW1Y 6QT by 5.00pm on the day of the sale. Christie’s will inform you if the lot has been sent offsite. If the lot has been transferred to Crozier Park Royal, it 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 Email: cscollectionsuk@christies.com. If the lot remains at Christie’s, 8 King Street, it will be available for collection on any working day (not weekends) from 9.00am to 5.00pm

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Lot Essay

This pair of George II walnut armchairs is probably by Wright & Elwick of Wakefield (active from 1748). Richard Wright of Wright & Elwick initially worked with Paul Saunders (1722 - 71), one of the most important and prolific London cabinet/chair-makers in the 1750s and 1760s, from 1757 Tapestry Maker to His Majesty, at ‘The Royal Soho Manufactory, Soho Square’. Saunders and his early business partner, George Smith Bradshaw (1717 - 1812), took possession of William Bradshaw’s cabinet-making workshop at 59 Greek Street, Soho, in circa 1755, acquiring the stock and pattern books. Thus, there are some similarities in the carved motifs employed by William Bradshaw, Saunders and Wright & Elwick. For example, a variation of a clasped acanthus motif displayed on chair legs features on a set of four tapestry-covered armchairs probably supplied by Bradshaw, originally at Chesterfield House, London, now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; on two sets of dining-chairs supplied by Saunders to the 1st Earl of Leicester for Holkham Hall, Norfolk between 1755-58, and on a set of twelve mahogany dining chairs, possibly by Wright & Elwick, at Nostell Priory, Yorkshire (G. Beard, ‘Furniture Maker and Tapestry Weaver’, Metroplitan Museum Journal, vol. 37, 2002, p. 168, fig. 1; A. Coleridge, ‘Some Mid-Georgian Cabinet-Makers at Holkham’, Apollo, February, 1964, figs. 1 and 2; National Trust NT 959745). The Nostell Priory chairs bear a comparable carved cartouche to that found on the seat-rails of the present chairs. The latter relate in turn to a set of dining-chairs from Kippax Park, Yorkshire, also thought to have been supplied by the firm (Moss Harris & Sons, The English Chair, London, 1946, p. 123, plate LI).
Seat-furniture of the same pattern was formerly at Swaines Hill Manor, Hampshire, and a sofa and pair of armchairs from this suite sold from the collection of The late Marjorie Wiggin Prescott, Belle Haven, Greenwich, CT, USA (illustrated R. Edwards, C. Claxton-Stevens and S.Whittington, 18th Century English Furniture The Norman Adams Collection, Woodbridge, 1983, pp. 38 & 39; Christie’s, New York, 31 January 1981, lot 354). The sofa was sold again, Christie's, London, 11 May - 1 June 2020, lot 108 (£10,000 including premium).
Armchairs of this model but with straight rather than serpentine front seat-rails include a set formerly at Browsholme Hall, Lancashire, sold Christie’s, London, 15 May 1958, lot 55 (four armchairs). These chairs were thought to have formed part of a suite of furniture introduced to the house by Edward Parker (d. 1794) following his inheritance of the estate in 1754. These chairs were later in the Leidesdorf Collection, sold Sotheby’s, London, 27 June 1974, lot 71 (four armchairs). Two pairs, possibly from the Browsholme suite, sold ‘Estate of Ogden Phipps’, Sotheby’s New York, 19 October 2002, lot 52 ($207,500 inc. premium) and lot 53 ($119,500 inc. premium); lot 53 sold again, Christie’s, New York, 21 June 2012, lot 1072 ($100,500).

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