A fine, pair of early-18th century, walnut sidechairs

September 18, 2019 2:38 pm Published by

The yoke crestings above vase-shaped backsplats. The original drop-in seats re-upholstered in Humphries, Abberton, crimson silk damask. The frieze with straight side rails. Standing on cabriole legs, with a good rake of the back, ending in pad feet. Excellent configuration, original colour and patina. Minor repairs, and frames tightened-up. English, first quarter of the 18th century.

These are fine examples of chairs that were made in large quantities during the early and mid-18th century. They display a fine conformation, and quite excellent colour and patina. They illustrate how continental designs had become naturalised and traces of foreign influence less noticeable. The curved line dominates the design while sound construction elegance and utility are united in the best chairs of this time.

The splat follows the curve of the sitter’s back rising from a moulded shoe-piece in a vase shape which was very common at the time. The seats were upholstered, on a removable framework, with needlework, tapestry or velvet being the usual coverings. With the fuller development of structural principles the bowed shape of the uprights becomes more pronounced, the seat rail serpentine or convex, and the legs of greater width, changes accompanied by the abolition of stretchers which were rendered superfluous.

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This post was written by joecollinson