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A GEORGE III MAHOGANY ARMCHAIR

england , circa 1775

In the manner of George Hepplewhite or Gillows of Lancaster

With a pierced shield back with stylised sunflower and trailing harebells or husks within the channelled sunken panel frame, the similarly panelled tapered back splats with stiff leaf capitals eminating from a half round sunflower medallion to the base, the outscrolled arms with rosette terminals with trailing harebells or husks, above an upholstered padded and close-nailed seat, standing on square stop-fluted tapering toupee front legs with a gadrooned collar at the ankle above a block foot, the back legs slightly splayed.
 

Stock number

FB.14
Height: 36⁵/₈ in (93 cm)
Width: 22¹/₂ in (57 cm)
Depth: 18¹/₈ in (46 cm)
The chairback is inspired by Grecian pelta-shields with palm-flower splats radiating from a sunflower medallion. The design derives from a ‘bar-back’ sofa pattern published by George Hepplewhite in his Cabinet-Maker and Upholsterer’s Guide, as well as a ‘Camel back stay rail’ chair featured in the late 1780s archives of Gillows. Stylistically, the sunflower alludes to Apollo’s role in antiquity as leader of the Muses of artistic inspiration. A set of four chairs of a closely related design was sold Christie’s in 2003.


 
Comparative Literature:
George Hepplewhite, Cabinet-Maker and Upholsterer’s Guide, 1788, pl. 26 (a related chair design can be seen pl. 5)
L. Boynton, ed., Gillow Furniture Designs 1760 – 1800, Royston, 1995, fig. 260
Christie’s London, 50 Years of Collecting – The Decorative Arts of Georgian England, 14 May 2003, lot 43 – also illustrated in C. Claxon-Stevens and S. Whittington, 18th Century English Furniture, The Norman Adams Collection, rev. ed., Woodbridge, 1985, p. 80 and col. pl. 11
J. Kirk, American Furniture and the British Tradition to 1830, New York, 1982, no. 1053
H. Cezinsky, English Furniture from the Gothic to Sheraton, New York, 1937, p. 343.
R. Edwards and P. Macquoid, The Dictionary of English Furniture, London, rev. ed., 1954, vol. I, p. 294, fig. 218
 
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