Chippendale Style Pale Mahogany Antique English Wing Chair, circa 1880 For Sale
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Chippendale Style Pale Mahogany Antique English Wing Chair, circa 1880


Receive our new selections direct from 1stdibs by email each week. Please click Follow Dealer below and see them first! A Chippendale style antique English wing chair circa 1880. This terrific armchair has been updated for the 21st century by bleaching the mahogany legs. Please notice how the lighter color of the timber of this antique English armchair transforms the bold and powerful carving of each front leg. The amazing innovation in the designs of Thomas Chippendale (1718-1779) transformed the direction of English furniture. These legs feature what is known as his "claw and ball" design to the foot as the sphere is fiercely grasped by the claw of a ferocious beast. The leg continues upward and as it spreads horizontally the largest surface is distinguished by a well carved scallop shell. Although he is credited with this foot there is great speculation that it actually derives from motifs seen on extraordinary Chinese porcelain. The most famous Chinese legend has the Imperial Dragon clutching within its claws the Pearl of Wisdom and looking at these depictions it is easy to see the inspiration. The form of these chairs is known as a "wing" chair because of the outwardly rolling arms as well as the upper sides. These chairs were developed as a way to keep the sitter from being buffeted by the chill wind that often occurred when the door to an interior room was opened to a frigid hallway or entry as those rooms were never kept heated. As the only way to heat an 18th century interior was with a blazing fire it was important to keep the room sealed and open and shut the door quickly when entering or departing. The other reason for this design was the extravagant use of material it took to cover a chair of this size. In the furnishing of rooms in the 18th century the expenditure on luxurious and costly fabrics, often imported at great expense, was a sure sign of economic prosperity and quite often exceeded the cost of the wooden furniture. The chair has been freshly upholstered with vintage French striped sacking in a particularly relevant color way for today's interior design with its combination of cream, white and grey stripes. Please notice the clever use of silvered nail head trim to enhance the roll of the arms and the shift between the fabric and the timber of the legs. This is a subtle detail to the chair that adds an extra level of visual interest. The chair is exceedingly comfortable and invite long stretches of relaxing seating while enjoying conversation with friends.


  • Condition
  • Wear
    Wear consistent with age and use.
  • Dimensions
    H 41 in. x W 34 in. x D 34 in.H 104.14 cm x W 86.36 cm x D 86.36 cm
  • Seller Location
    Houston, TX
  • Seller Reference Number
  • Reference Number
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About the Seller

5 / 5
Platinum Seller
1stdibs seller since 2009
Located in Houston, TX
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