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A PAIR OF LATE GEORGE II MAHOGANY LIBRARY ARMCHAIRS
A PAIR OF LATE GEORGE II MAHOGANY LIBRARY ARMCHAIRS

POSSIBLY BY WRIGHT AND ELWICK, CIRCA 1760

Details
A PAIR OF LATE GEORGE II MAHOGANY LIBRARY ARMCHAIRS
Possibly by Wright and Elwick, circa 1760
Each with undulating rectangular upholstered backs and padded arms on scrolled, channelled and egg and dart moulded supports with serpentine fronted upholstered seats, covered in a rich claret colored silk velvet, the bottom edge of the seat-rail centered by an acanthus rocaille, the acanthus repeated at the corner brackets and with a further egg and dart carved edge, with conforming decoration to the side rails, raised on channelled, bead and reel square chamfered legs, joined by an H-stretcher, with brass and leather castors (2)
Provenance
Purchased by the present owner from Glaisher and Nash Ltd., London.

Lot Essay

This pair of armchairs relates to 'French Chair' designs in the George II picturesque manner illustrated in Thomas Chippendale's The Gentleman and Cabinet-Maker's Director, London, 1754. The pattern relates closely to a suite of five library armchairs from Swinton in Yorkshire and now attributed to the Yorkshire cabinet-makers, Wright and Elwick, who were known to have worked for William Danby at Swinton in around 1775. The suite was sold by the Earl of Swinton and the Hon. Nicholas Cunliffe-Lister, Swinton House, Masham, Yorkshire, Christie's house sale, 20-21 October 1975, lot 17. Established in 1747 by Richard Wright and Edward Elwick, this prolific partnership '[had] the honour to serve most of the Nobility & Gentry in the West and North Rideing' (G. Beard and C. Gilbert, eds., Dictionary of English Furniture-Makers 1660-1840, Leeds, 1986, pp.1006-1008). Certainly, records indicate that they received patronage from such distinguished clients as Sir Rowland Winn at Nostell Priory, the Duke of Norfolk at Worksop Manor, Viscount Irwin at Temple Newsam House, John Spencer at Cannon Hall and most notably, the Marquis of Rockingham at Wentworth Woodhouse. The extensive Wentworth Woodhouse commission reveals a close adherence to Chippendale's designs; both Wright and Elwick subscribed separately to the first 1754 edition of The Director. For a full discussion on this commission, see the Wentworth Catalogue, Christie's London, 8 July 1998, pp.110-112.

The chair design also corresponds to a hollow-seated chair in the collection at Southill, Bedfordshire (illustrated in P. Macquoid and R. Edwards, The Dictionary of English Furniture, London, rev. edn., 1954, vol.I, p. 277, fig.160). Another single chair of virtually identical form (but with slightly less exhuberantly carved foliate clasp to the seatrail) was sold anonymously, Christie's London, 15 April 1999, lot 65. A further pair, with straight seat-rails was sold anonymously, Sotheby's London, 5 July 1997, lot 58.
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