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A ROYAL GEORGE III MAHOGANY STOOL
A ROYAL GEORGE III MAHOGANY STOOL

ATTRIBUTED TO THOMAS CHIPPENDALE, CIRCA 1770

Details
A ROYAL GEORGE III MAHOGANY STOOL
ATTRIBUTED TO THOMAS CHIPPENDALE, CIRCA 1770
The rectangular seat covered in needlework, possibly by H.M. Queen Mary (1867-1953) or H.R.H. The Princess Mary, Princess Royal, Countess of Harewood (1897-1965), on roundel-headed fluted tapering legs and guttae feet, branded 'B P' for Buckingham Palace and with a paper label 'GvR/Buckingham Palace' below a crown, and inscribed 'Room 138', the seat rails heightened when the needlework was added, circa 1920
19 in. (48.5 cm.) high; 24 in. (61 cm.) wide; 19 in. (48.4 cm.) deep
Provenance
The collections of the Royal Family, Buckingham Palace, London, and by descent to
H.R.H. The Princess Mary, Princess Royal, Countess of Harewood (1897-1965) and by descent at Harewood House, Yorkshire.

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Lot Essay

A pair of similar stools but green-painted and parcel-gilt, part of a suite made in 1771 by Thomas Chippendale (d. 1779) for Sir Rowland Winn, is presently at Nostell Priory, West Yorkshire (National Trust Inventory no. 959749.9). There is no evidence that Chippendale carried out a commission for George III although by dedicating the Director to the Duke of Gloucester, the King's brother, it is certain that he aspired to a royal commission.

The stool pattern also relates to a set commissioned by George III for his Windsor Castle state apartments, designed in the 'Roman' fashion promoted by court architects, Sir William Chambers and Robert Adam. A set of almost identical stools were illustrated in situ in 'The King's Closet' at Windsor in Charles Wild's watercolour, engraved by W.I. Bennett and published 1 October 1816 (H. Roberts 'A Neoclassical Episode at Windsor', Furniture History, 1997, p.177-187, fig.1). Although their is no documentary evidence suggesting who supplied these stools, another candidate for their authorship is Robert Campbell of 33 Marylebone St., Piccadilly, who was described in 1780 as 'Upholsterers to their Majesties' and 'Cabinet maker to the Prince of Wales' (Ed. G. Beard, C. Gilbert, Dictionary of English Furniture Makers 1660-1840, 1986, pp.142-143). W.H. Pyne in the first volume of his three-volume History of the Royal Residences, published in 1819, identifies Campbell as responsible for a 'chair of state' in 'The King's Audience Chamber' at Windsor, it is conceivable that he also made the accompanying stools together with the canopy frame and back and window seat illustrated in Pyne's plate (op cit., p. 178). Giltwood and mahogany stools of this type survive at Windsor, the latter closely related to the present example (Roberts, op cit., p.180, figs. 4 and 5).
A pair of George III stools of the same pattern but lacking the carved reeding have been recorded with the 1866 Buckingham Palace brand (Christie's London, 27 June 1985, lot 119; Phillips London, 12 June 2001, lot 64). The present stool is most likely that referred to in an inventory of Buckingham Palace taken in 1911, listed in Room 138 as: 'A mahogany frame dressing stool, on reeded tapered supports, the top covered with blue sateen. 24 inches wide'.

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