Executed in 'fine walnut tree', this comfortable George I easy-chair has bergere-upholstered arms with elegantly serpentined trusses terminating at either end in Ionic volutes, while its cabrioled and reed-edged legs terminate in serpentined trusses on squared plinths. This bedroom chair with its tall back proportioned to the 21 in. width of contemporary Italian damasks and cut velvets, would have been upholstered en suite with a high canopied bed commissioned by Sir John Curzon, 3rd Bt. (d. 1727) on his inheritance of Kedleston, Derbyshire in 1719. His mansion, recently built by the Warwick architect Francis Smith (d. 1738), was aggrandised with assistance from the Rome-trained architect James Gibbs (d. 1754). Sir John was a subscriber to Gibbs' commission in 1723 for the building of All Saints Church, Derby; and the latter's pavilion designed for the Kedleston garden featured in Gibbs' Book of Architecture, 1728.
The chair legs, with their plinth-supports, relate to those of a chair supplied about 1717 to Sir William Humphreys, a former Lord Mayor of London. They also feature on contemporary armchairs supplied to Gibbs' patron, James Brydges, 1st Duke of Chandos (d. 1744), and attributed to James Moore (d. 1726), the famed 'Cabinet-Maker and Upholsterer' to the Court and to Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough (d. 1744) (G. Beard, Upholsterers and Intererior Furnishing in England, London, 1997, p. 177, fig. 155 and p. 176, fig. 151).
The armchair is closely related in the design of its leg to a set of eight walnut and marquetry side chairs almost certainly supplied to Sir Nathaniel Curzon, 2nd Bt. (1635-1719), for Kedleston Hall, Derbyshire and sold by The Viscount Scarsdale and the Kedleston Trustees, in these Rooms, 5 July 1990, lot 90 (£71,500). Sir Nathaniel employed the architect Francis Smith of Warwick (d. 1738) to build his mansion in the first decade of the 18th Century, and it is possible that this armchair formed part of the decorative scheme of that house. The 3rd Bt., later Baron Scarsdale, upon succeeding to the Baronetcy in 1758, employed first Matthew Brettingham and James Paine and, from 1760, Robert Adam, to whom he entrusted the rebuilding and decoration of Kedleston.