A pair of rare Queen Anne walnut stools upholstered in an historically-accurate crimson silk damask

September 18, 2019 2:39 pm Published by

Later drop-in seats re-upholstered in Humphries Weaving Abberton pure silk crimson damask. Standing on cabriole legs joined by turned stretchers with pad feet. Repair to one toe. Excellent original colour and patination. English, circa 1710.

Surviving pairs of Queen Anne stools, especially in such fine condition, are extremely rare. These stools are particularly elegant, standing on high, gently sweeping, cabriole legs. There are no other, known, examples in this form against which to cross reference. Stools were much used at the time, and probably destroyed when the upholstery had worn-out. The form of these stools corresponds with chair designs of the period, and they would probably have been upholstered en-suite in rich materials.

Tabouret etiquette was extremely strict, and was observed in both private houses and at Court. For example; in 1688 Princess Anne declined to seat herself until her tabouret had been removed to the correct distance, it having been set too near to Queen Mary’s chair. This etiquette had lost none of its strictness at the Court of George II, by the time of the Prince of Wales’s marriage. At the dinner prior to the wedding the Royal princesses refused to appear, until Frederick abandoned his demand that his bride should sit on a chair, objecting that she was not yet Princess of Wales.

Abberton Damask, is hand woven by Humphries Weaving Company, archive number 1012. It was redrawn by the Humphries design studio in 1986 from Brocatelle documents in the company archive. The Italian design has been much used for both fabric and paper designs. There is a flock paper version dated 1735, from Provenance Christchurch Mansion, Ipswich, Suffolk, Victoria & Albert Museum wallpaper document number E 239. Another flock paper version of the design was found at Hampton Court Palace covering mural paintings by Antonio Verrio. A woven version of the design appears in “Baroque & Roccoco Silks” by Peter Thornton giving the date of 1730. Woven 21” wide it can now be seen in the Landscape Room at Holkham Hall where it has been used for wall coverings, drapes and upholstery.

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This post was written by joecollinson