We are delighted to share this superb quality George III Chippendale period carved mahogany open armchair that reflects English craftsmanship with inspiration from both Roman and French design sources. The rectangular padded back, arms, and seat are upholstered in floral gros-point needlework, and the acanthus and shell-carved frame on foliate-cabriole legs terminate in scroll feet.
This richly carved chair has its serpentine frame embellished with Roman acanthus foliage and scalloped C-scrolls in the French rocaille fashion. First popularised as the ‘Modern’ style in Thomas Chippendale’s The Gentleman and the Cabinet-Maker’s Director (1754), its form derives from the Louis XV ‘fauteuil’ of the 1730s as featured in the engraved Oeuvres of Juste-Aurele Meissonnier. Sculpted with cartouches of shells recalling the triumph of the Roman goddess Venus, the chair corresponds to Chippendale’s ‘French’ chairs, and in particular to the plate XXII in the third edition of his Director (1763), the accompanying text stating ‘both the Backs and the Seats must be covered with Tapestry, or other sort of needlework’.
A related chair of this model, with similar carved details, is in the Victoria & Albert Museum from the collection of G.B. Croft Lyons.