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A SET OF SIX GEORGE III YEW AND ELM 'GOTHICK' WINDSOR ARMCHAIRS
A SET OF SIX GEORGE III YEW AND ELM 'GOTHICK' WINDSOR ARMCHAIRS
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A SET OF SIX GEORGE III YEW AND ELM 'GOTHICK' WINDSOR ARMCHAIRS

MID-18TH CENTURY

Details
A SET OF SIX GEORGE III YEW AND ELM 'GOTHICK' WINDSOR ARMCHAIRS
MID-18TH CENTURY
Each with arched, pierced back and saddle seat, on cabriole legs joined by a crinoline stretcher, some with inventory label inscribed D.R.53.1986, one branded Luders
Provenance
Acquired from Mallett, London, 1955.
Literature
D. Fennimore et al., The David and Peggy Rockefeller Collection: Decorative Arts, New York, 1992, vol. IV, p. 292, no. 304.
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Lot Essay

On a trip to London in October 1955, we bought a set of six dining-room chairs, which we have always called Gothic Chippendale. The carving was unusually beautiful, as was the patina on the wood. Eighteen years later we saw another, almost identical, chair at Sotheby Parke Bernet, which we also purchased. When we decided to build a house at Ringing Point, we thought these chairs would be ideal for our dining room there, but we wanted a set of twelve. Accordingly, we commissioned a firm in Lisbon, Portugal, to make five additional copies, sending them one of the originals as an example.
D. R.

The 'Gothick' Windsor chair, with its pointed-arch back and triple fretted splats, is considered to be the pinnacle of Windsor chair design. This style of chair was created around the time of the early Gothic revival during the second quarter of the eighteenth century, epitomized by the arched tracery windows at Strawberry Hill, the home of Horace Walpole (1717-1797).
A similar chair, now in the Victoria and Albert Museum and illustrated in Anthony Coleridge, Chippendale Furniture, New York, 1968, pl. 157., is made from yew and mahogany. The period examples always incorporate yew, the prized timber for Windsor chairs. An identical yew chair with an elm seat is illustrated in The English Regional Chair and is attributed to London/Thames Valley (Bernard D. Cotton, The English Regional Chair, Suffolk, 1990, p.47, fig. TV22). Windsor chairs likely derived their name from the town of Windsor, a distribution center of furniture made in the Thames Valley.
Another nearly identical chair is illustrated in Michael Harding-Hall, Windsor Chairs, London, 2003, p. 22, a pair of very similar chairs is illustrated in D. Knell, English Country Furniture, Suffolk, 2000, p. 327, pl. 83, while another single example sold from The Collection of Robert Hatfield Ellsworth, Christie's, New York, 21 March 2015, lot 1159 ($43,750).

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