A fine set of four fine Queen Anne oak dining chairs

September 18, 2019 2:38 pm Published by

The shaped dish toprail above an urn-shaped splat. Later drop in seats covered in Lelievre neptune mohair-velvet gaufrage. Standing on cabriole legs with pad feet. Repairs to one toe, two replaced ears. Excellent original colour and patination. English, circa 1710

This set of provincial chairs have excellent conformation, colour and patination and are in fine condition. The vase-shaped splat and curved back are well-balanced by both the front cabriole legs, and the kick of the back legs giving three-dimensional harmony.

As already discussed, in Queen Anne’s reign the new fashions which had influenced chair design since the Restoration became naturalised and traces of foreign influence became less dominant. The curved line dominates the design, while sound construction elegance and utility are united in the best chairs of this time. At first the uprights retain the vertical line, and are of convex section, the seat rail is straight, and the narrow cabriole legs ending in club feet are united by plain turned stretchers. 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. These changes were accompanied by the abolition of stretchers which were rendered superfluous.

Soon after 1710 the claw-and-ball, an Oriental motif of great antiquity, was adopted as a terminal for cabriole legs thought the club foot continued to be employed on many chairs throughout the first half of the 18th century. The splat follows the curve of the sitter’s back rising from a moulded shoe-piece and the normal vase or fiddle shapes are sometimes replaced by a more complex outline. The seats were either stuffed over or upholstered on a removable framework, needlework, tapestry or velvet being the usual coverings.

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This post was written by joecollinson