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A Pair of George I Walnut Side Chairs
England, 1715

A superb pair of George I walnut and seaweed marquetry side chairs attributed to Royal chairmakers Thomas or Richard Roberts, each with an arched upholstered and close-nailed back and seat, on shaped cabriole legs with square hoof feet, the legs and circular panel to the front seat rail beautifully inlaid with seaweed marquetry decoration. Now recently recovered in silk velvet.


These chairs relate very closely to those supplied by Thomas Roberts to Sir Robert Walpole, later 1st Earl of Orford (d. 1745) for Houghton Hall, Norfolk, with similar shaped cabriole legs and ending in stylised hoof feet. Two pairs of chairs from Houghton were sold Christie’s London. 8th December 1994, lots 126 and 127. Thomas and Richard Roberts both held the warrant as ‘joiner to the Royal Household’ for over thirty years, from 1686 until 1729, and supplied furnishings for Whitehall, Kensington Palace, Hampton Court and Windsor Castle.

With their similar central inlaid cartouche to the front seat-rail, a suite of furniture traditionally ascribed to the workshops of John Belchier and supplied to Streatlam Castle Durham is worth comparison. Belchier is particularly known for his work at Erdigg Hall, Wrexham for which he supplied the finest quality ‘mirror glasses, cabinet works and chairs’.

Three related pairs of chairs, commissioned by Sir John Trevor (c.1637-1717) for Trevor House, later Powis House, Knightsbridge and then removed in the mid 18th century to Brynkinalt, Denbighshire, were sold Sotheby’s London, Of Royal and Noble Descent, 19 January 2017, lots 333 – 335. These chairs show near identical construction, similar inlaid marquetry panels and near identical feet. A further set of walnut and marquetry chairs featuring the similar leg pattern and hoof foot was supplied to Thomas Watson-Wentworth, 3rd Earl of Stafford . for Wentworth Woodhouse, Yorkshire.

Height 110.00cm (43.31 inches)
Width 58.00cm (22.83 inches)
Depth 65.50cm (25.79 inches)


Provenance

With Charles of London and New York (described as ‘the Hampton Court Chairs’)
Acquired by Marion E. and Leonard A. Cohn
Gifted by Mrs Leonard A. Cohn to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1945
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Exhibitions

New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, AngloMania: Tradition and Transgression in British Fashion, 3 May – 4 September 2006
On view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Annie Laurie Aitken Galleries

Reference - M10.95