Royal Beginnings: A Pair of George II Walnut Stools from the Collection of HRH Prince Frederick Lewis

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Detail of Frederick Prince of Wales as painted by Charles Philips 
Yale Center for British Art

We appreciate all fine antique furniture, but there is something special about a piece that has a known provenance.  Particularly if that provenance is royal.  We were delighted to acquire an exceptional pair of George II walnut stools from the collection of English royal family.  Each stool is stamped ‘F’ beneath a closed crown (indicating a royal) on the underside of the seat rales.  The cypher is that of HRH Prince Frederick Lewis, Prince of Wales, KG, the eldest son of George II.

A pair of George II walnut stools Mackinnon Fine Furniture Collection

A pair of George II walnut stools
Mackinnon Fine Furniture Collection

The stools feature serpentine sides, and the seat rails rise at the corners to small scrolled hips above moulded and carved cabriole legs,  The legs terminates in strolled toes on small pads.  The stools are upholstered in French 18th century gros and petit point needlework.

Detail of the needlework on a pair of George II walnut stools Mackinnon Fine Furniture Collection

Detail of the needlework on a pair of George II walnut stools
Mackinnon Fine Furniture Collection

These stools embody an elegant and sophisticated design with the serpentine curve of the seat rails and shaped sides that rise at each corner to small scrolled hips.  The small scroll feet raised on pads reflect the French fashion, and there are several examples in Chippendale’s Director.

The stools were previously in the collection of the esteemed dealers Norman Adams and are illustrated in C. Claxton Stevens and S. Whittington, 18th Century Furniture: The Norman Adams Collection, Woodbridge, Suffolk, 1983, p. 46-47, 68.

Detail of the cypher of Frederick Prince of Wales from a pair of George II walnut stools Mackinnon Fine Furniture Collection

Detail of the cypher of Frederick Prince of Wales from a pair of George II walnut stools
Mackinnon Fine Furniture Collection

The presence of the cypher of HRH Prince Frederick Lewis, Prince of Wales, KG (1707-1751) is significant.  The cypher features a closed crown, which indicates a royal.  The cypher features a rough approximation of the single arched Royal coronet, which can only pertain to an heir apparent to the British Crown.

Frederick Prince of Wales

Frederick Prince of Wales by Charles Philips
Yale Center for British Art

Frederick was born Duke Friedrich Ludwig of Brunswick-Lüneburg, the eldest son of the future King George II and Caroline of Ansbach.  When Frederick’s grandfather, George I, died in June 1727, his father became King George II and Frederick was created a Prince of Great Britain.  Frederick predeceased his father in 1751, and when King George II died in 1760, Frederick’s eldest son, George William Frederick, succeeded to the throne as King George III.

As Frederick died in 1751, these stools can be firmly attributed to an earlier date, which makes them a rare early example of pre-Director rococo style of furniture in England.

One thought on “Royal Beginnings: A Pair of George II Walnut Stools from the Collection of HRH Prince Frederick Lewis

  1. Pingback: Porcelain fit for a King (and Queen): Royal Worcester | The Source

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