Never Taking a Back Seat: The Incredible Chair Backs of Thomas Chippendale

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A while ago we wrote about an exceptional pair of George III mahogany side chairs from our archive–the carved pierced backs of the chairs closely follow the designs on Plate IX of Thomas Chippendale’s Gentleman and Cabinet-Maker’s Director.

A George III Mahogany Chippendale Period Specimen Side Chair Mackinnon Fine Furniture Collection

A George III Mahogany Chippendale Period Specimen Side Chair Mackinnon Fine Furniture Collection

Today, we are highlighting two exceptional George III mahogany specimen chairs that also feature fantastic carved backs.  Specimen chairs are pieces that have been constructed as single pieces, rather than as part of a set, that often feature exceptional quality decoration as they were meant to stand alone.  The chair shown above features excellent crisp carving and blind fretwork to the front legs.

Plate XII from Thomas Chippendale's Director showing chair designs

Plate XII from Thomas Chippendale’s Director showing chair designs

The above chair features design elements shown in plate XII of Chippendale’s Director, including the elaborate C scrolls on the splat of the righthand design, the cabuchon of the central design, and the upswept top rail of the lefthand design.

This chair was formely in the collection of the renowned antique dealer, Hotspur Ltd. (covered in a previous post!).

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A George III Mahogany Chippendale Period Specimen Side Chair Mackinnon Fine Furniture Collection

The second chair, shown above, is very fine George III mahogany Director period specimen side chair of wonderful quality.  The back features partially stop-fluted side columns and a superb anthemion crested interlaced splat with floral and foliate carvings to the top rail, and it is centered by a deep-carved foliate clasped cabochon.   The upholstered saddle-seat stands above chamfered moulded front legs joined to the slightly splayed back legs by a sophisticated shaped H-stretcher.  This chair is of excellent colour throughout.

Plate IX from Thomas Chippendale's Director showing chair designs

The back of the chair features carved detail drawn from Chippendale’s Director, particularly from the chair on the lefthand plate IX as shown above with the interlaced splats.

Chippendale furniture is having a moment in the sun this year (not literally… that would hurt the patina!) as it is his tercentenary.  We are excited to have these chairs in our collection as we celebrate this anniversary year.

 

2 thoughts on “Never Taking a Back Seat: The Incredible Chair Backs of Thomas Chippendale

  1. Pingback: Happy 300th Birthday, Thomas Chippendale | The Source

  2. Pingback: Superbly Serpentine: A Sofa Designed in the Manner of Thomas Chippendale | The Source

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