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THE PROPERTY OF THE LORD HYLTON
REMOVED FROM AMMERDOWN, SOMERSET
Ammerdown was John Linnell's final commission. Thomas Jolliffe began the construction of his Frome mansion in 1789 and the house was completed to Wyatt's designs by 1793 and furnishing began in 1794. Linnell delivered a splendid suite of satinwood seat-furniture including two sofas in 1795. It is not inconceivable that this suite of seat furniture was also supplied by the Linnells, however, by the time Ammerdown was being furnished the design was outdated. There is always the likelihood that they may have come from their earlier house in Petersfield, Hampshire (H. Hayward & P. Kirkham, William & John Linnell, London, 1980, p. 129 et. seq., figs. 40 & 262, pl. 19).
This comfortable and popular form of chair was described as a 'French' easy chair in The Gentleman and Cabinet-Maker's Director, 1754 issued by the St. Martin's Lane cabinet-maker, Thomas Chippendale (d. 1779). Chippendale supplied Sir Rowland Winn, Bt. (d. 1786) with closely related 'elbow' parlour chairs invoiced in 1766 as being 'covered with horse hair and double brass nail'd at 25/- each' (C. Gilbert, The Life and Work of Thomas Chippendale, London, vol. II, p. 174, fig. 134). Another chair of this pattern, also fitted with tapered brass caps and castors, may have been among the suite supplied for the Library (designed in 1760 by Robert Adam) at Kedleston Hall, Derbyshire.