Upcoming Auctions and Events

Global notice COVID-19 Important notice
A SET OF TEN GEORGE III PADOUK AND MARQUETRY DINING CHAIRS
VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price and at 1… Read more
A SET OF TEN GEORGE III PADOUK AND MARQUETRY DINING CHAIRS

LATE 18TH EARLY 19TH CENTURY, IN THE MANNER OF JOHN LINNELL

Details
A SET OF TEN GEORGE III PADOUK AND MARQUETRY DINING CHAIRS
LATE 18TH EARLY 19TH CENTURY, IN THE MANNER OF JOHN LINNELL
Including two armchairs, each inlaid with foliate sprays, with an oval back above padded seat, on square tapering legs, minor losses to veneer and restoration, two side chairs with wengewood carcass and possibly slightly earlier
39 in. (99 cm.) high; 20½ in. (52 cm.) wide; 21 in. (53.5 cm) deep (10)
Provenance
Possibly supplied to Mr Cook Flower for Sheringham Hall, Norfolk and sold with the house in 1811 or
Commissioned by Abbot Upcher for Sheringham Hall, Norfolk.
Thence by descent to Thomas Upcher, Sheringham, Norfolk, sold Christie's House sale, 22-23 October 1986, lot 78

Literature
Lucy Wood, The Upholstered Furniture in the Lady Lever Art Gallery, Liverpool, 2008, volume 2, no. 59, fig. 397
Special Notice

VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price and at 17.5% on the buyer's premium.

Brought to you by

Flora Elek
Flora Elek

Check the condition report or get in touch for additional information about this

Condition Report

If you wish to view the condition report of this lot, please sign in to your account.

Sign in
View condition report

Lot Essay

These exotically veneered chairs - inlaid with black 'padouk' and golden fruitwood in Robert Adam's 'Etruscan' fashion - originally comprised part of larger suite of at least 12 chairs and a matching urn stand at Sheringham Hall in Norfolk. A further pair of chairs are now in the Leverhulme Collection and the urn stand was sold as the consecutive lot in the Sheringham House sale (lot 79).

Lucy Wood discusses the suite at some length in her authoritative study The Upholstered Furniture in the Lady Lever Art Gallery, Liverpool, 2008, vol. II,..... . She concludes that within the suite there are two distinctive constructional techniques and timbers employed, two chairs being demonstratively earlier original models from which the other chairs were presumably copied at a slightly later date. Wood suggests that the earlier two chairs must predate the Regency Sheringham, which was rebuilt by Humphrey Repton for Abbot Upcher from 1812-1819. The original and slightly earlier two chairs may therefore have been conceivably purchased second hand or possibly acquired with the old house, bought from Mr Cook Flower in 1811.

As Wood argues, very few close parallels to the suite are known and there are certain elements of the design and construction that cast some doubt upon conclusively stating their English origin. In particular, the use of drop-in seats in England is most unusual for the late 18th Century; however the suite may once have had fixed upholstery, or conceivably built up mouldings to contain drop-in seats - a hypothesis suggested by the fact that the cross banding at the bottom of the seat-rails is not repeated at the top.

Having said that, the form of the urn table en suite at Sheringham is distinctively English. Moreover, whilst many of the constructional techniques employed reflect the influence of craftsmen and specialist marqueteurs from the Continent, emigré Swedes such as George Haupt and Christopher Furlogh were simultaneously bringing Continental practices to London. But perhaps the closest parallel - and proof that this type of seat-furniture was indeed executed rarely in England - is provided by the celebrated Culham House suite.

The Culham House suite of furniture was supplied by the fashionable Berkeley Square cabinet-maker John Linnell (d. 1796) for Culham House, Oxfordshire. Comprising eight armchairs, three window seats and a pair of pier-tables, the suite was commissioned by the Oxfordshire property developer John Phillips (d. 1775), celebrated master carpenter, architect, Mayfair developer and Lord of the Manor of Blewbury, Berkshire. The suite remained intact at Culham with his direct descendants until 1935 and most recently a pair of chairs from this suite was sold anonymously at Christie's London, 14 June 2001, lot 313 (£311,750).

JOHN LINNELL
John Linnell studied French ornament at the St. Martin's Lane Academy before working for his father and eventually inheriting his father's cabinet-making and upholstery workships in Berkeley Square in 1763. By the mid-1760's, Linnell displayed a growing interest in neoclassical form and ornament. His designs from the mid-1760's reveal the influence of the architect/designer Robert Adam, who worked on many of the same houses as Linnell such as Robert Child's Osterley Park, William Drake's Shardeloes, and Lord Scarsdale's Kedleston Hall.

In the late 1760's, Linnell was employing the specialist 'inlaying' skills of the Paris-trained Swedish ébénistes Christopher Fuhrlohg (d.c. 1787), later 'cabinet-maker' to George, Prince of Wales, and George Haupt, later cabinet-maker to the King of Sweden. A commode at Castle Howard, Yorkshire, designed by Linnell with related marquetry of a laurel-festoned vase, bears Fuhrlohg's signature and the date 1767.

More from Régence to Fabergé An Apartment by Jed Johnson

View All
View All