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The 'Chippendale' Chair
This incredibly intriguing 19th century Irish mahogany armchair carved in the George II style is part of a storied suite of furniture at the nexus of a number of famous English and American collections. This intricately carved chair with its lappeted crest, eagle supports, and foliate cabriole legs headed by masks with hairy claw and ball feet is rooted in 18th century Georgian design. The trailing flowers and multiple uses of eagle iconography particularly point to Irish manufacture. The Sir John Soane's Museum in London has had an identical chair, lovingly referred to as the 'Chippendale' chair (photo included), in its collection since 1837 and was purported to have been purchased directly from Thomas Chippendale. The bill of sale, unfortunately, has never been found. The early 20th century saw this suite of furniture become the object of desire for two American collectors, Charles Pendleton and George Palmer, each aggressively seeking to acquire pieces from the suite in England. Pendleton, whose collection is currently preserved in the Museum of Art of the Rhode Island School of Design, acquired an initial set of six side chairs, but wanting to expand his collection he charged the Duveen Brothers with acquiring the matching settee from the hall of the Burlington Hotel, London. As part of the negotiations of the purchase, further replica settees were made by Rhode Island craftsmen for the London hotel and Pendleton’s own collection. He later lost out on a matching armchair and side chair to George Palmer who was also acquiring 'Chippendale' furniture from the Duveen Brothers at the same time. Palmer's collection was eventually sold to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in 1918. One of the Palmer armchairs sold at Christie's in 2015 for $435,000. The carving and artistry of this chair is exquisite, and although the maker for these chairs is unclear, the popularity of the design has held for more than two hundred years. Examples of the same chair are also in the Museum of London and in the Rockefeller Estate 'Kykuit', although dating for each remains unclear. Numerous early 20th century examples abound, including a related chair attributed to Sidney Letts, circa 1910, sold from the collection of H. J. Joel, Esq., The Stud House, Childwick Bury, Hertfordshire, Christie's, London, 1 April 1993, lot 171, and again Christie's, London, 26 January 2011, lot 240.
- DimensionsHeight: 39.5 in (100.33 cm)Width: 33 in (83.82 cm)Depth: 31 in (78.74 cm)
- StyleGeorge II (In the Style Of)
- Materials and Techniques
- Place of Origin
- Date of Manufacture19th Century
- ConditionRepaired: Repairs to both arms. Wear consistent with age and use.
- Seller LocationChicago, IL
- Reference NumberSeller: RIGHTPROPER17311stDibs: LU3738325347662
Shipping & Returns
- ShippingShips From: Chicago, IL
- Return Policy
A return for this item may be initiated within 2 days of delivery.
About the Seller
Located in Chicago, IL
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