An exceptionally rare, late-17th century, Romayne ‘winged’, oak armchair

September 19, 2019 8:42 am Published by

The Renaissance had a considerable impact on furniture design and chest fronts and chair backs often included panels carved with profile heads which were called ‘Romayne’ after the Roman style. These heads were always depicted in profile. The carpenter has cleverly used this device to create a winged armchair. The style of the carving is antiquarian, looking back to ‘romayne’ panels from the previous century. Using male heads in profile injects an architectural quality as the wings are reminscent of corbels. The cabinetmaker has not set a precedent in creating wings as there are surviving models of armchairs from this period with small ‘wings’ in this position made from either a shaped board or a turned frame.

The scroll shaped cresting enclosing carved acanthus leaves. The baluster and column turned uprights surmounted by finials. Two Renaissance head wings project from the upper blocks. The Back with five straight splats. The curved arms with scroll ends and supported by baluster uprights. The panelled seat supported by baluster turned front and straight back legs with a baluster turned front stretcher, two straight side and one straight back stretcher. Untouched dry patina. Shrinkage crack in seat which is not structural.
Back height 121 cm., Width 63 cm Depth 46 cm
Seat height 44 cm., Seat width 59 cm., Seat depth 46 cm

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This post was written by joecollinson