england , circa 1740

A superb George II mahogany side chair in the manner of Matthew Darly. Of bold proportions, the interlaced back above an upholstered seat, and standing on fine acanthus and cabochon carved cabriole legs terminating in hairy paw feet.


The collection of Violet Trefusis

Violet Trefusis was born Violet Keppel - the daughter of Alice Keppel, the favourite mistress of Albert Edward ("Bertie"), the Prince of Wales. Violet's only sibling, Sonia, is the maternal grandmother of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.

Violet Trefusis was an English socialite and author, chiefly remembered for her lengthy affair with the writer Vita Sackville-West.

Stock number

Height: 40¹/₈ in (102 cm)
Width: 24³/₈ in (62 cm)
A set of this model was in the collection of Major General The Hon. E. F. Lawson, Hall Barn, Buckinghamshire (illustrated).

A pair of settees of the same model, presumably from the same suite,  were advertised by Frank Partridge & Sons Ltd. in Country Life Annual 1952.  One settee had been advertised in the The Illustrated London News, 8 October 1932, p. 548 - as part of The Art Treasures Exhibition (no. 146) and with Messrs. Rice and Christy Ltd. of Wigmore Street. These were subsequently offered Sotheby's New York, Important English Furniture and Decorations, 3-4 June 1988, lot 121, as part of the collection of Leigh B. Block, a trustee, President and Chairman of of the Art Institute of Chicago. Subsequently offered Sotheby's New York, English Furniture, 24-25 April 1992, lot 424.

A pair of chairs from presumably the same suite was sold Christie's London,  Important English Furniture, Eastern Rugs and Carpets, 20 November 1986, lot 182, from the collection of Sir Charles Clore. They had previously been sold Christie's London, 11 December 1942, lot 72 - from the collection the late Viscount Rothermere, for the very impressive price of £120. Subsequently offered Sotheby's New York, Important English Furniture, 24 October 1992, lot 234.

Two chairs from the suite (possibly the above), but then with gilded hightlights,  are illustrated in M. Harris and Sons, A Catalogue and Index of Old Furniture and Works of Decorative Art From Late Sixteenth Century - Early Nineteenth Century, Pt. II, p. 192. The Henry Hirsch Collection, sold Christie's, 10 June 1931, lot 67,  illustrated in Christies's Review of the Season 1930 -1931, and exhibited at the Loan Exhibition of Georgian Art, 1931.

A pair of chairs of this model is in the collection of the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. They were bequeathed by Charles Rotch (Charles Rotch Bequest) in 1962 and were on long term loan to Nunnington Hall from 1976 to 2014 (ref: W.53-1962).

Reference can be made to the chair designs of Mathew Darly included in The Chair-Maker's Guide published by Robert Manwaring in 1766 (e.g. plate 41) (see P. Ward-Jackson, English Furniture Designs of the Eighteenth Century, 1958, fig. 180).
Country Life, 'Hall Barn, Buckinghamshire - III - The Home of Major-General The Hon. E. F. Lawson', 3 April 1942, (a set of these chairs illustrated in the dining-room)

M. Harris and Sons, A Catalogue and Index of Old Furniture and Works of Decorative Art From Late Sixteenth Century - Early Nineteenth Century, Pt. II, p. 192

The Charles Rotch Bequest, Victoria & Albert Museum, London:
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