A set of four George III carved giltwood open armchairs attributed to Gillows
Lot 42
A set of four George III carved giltwood open armchairs
attributed to Gillows
Sold for £22,800 (US$ 30,461) inc. premium

Lot Details
A set of four George III carved giltwood open armchairs attributed to Gillows
A set of four George III carved giltwood open armchairs
attributed to Gillows
Upholstered in cream slubbed silk, the shield shaped padded buttoned backs within riband carved frames, outswept padded arms and downswept leaf and riband carved scrolled arm supports, above bowed padded buttoned seats on fluted tapering and stiff leaf carved legs, headed by paterae, on turned feet.(4)


  • Provenance: Supplied as part of a set of eighteen chairs (four of which are offered above) with an accompanying stool (included in this sale as lot ....) and a window seat (included in this sale as lot ...) to William Wyndham Grenville, 1st Baron Grenville (1759-1834) for Dropmore, Buckinghamshire.

    Sold by order of the executors of the late Viscount Kelmsley, Sotheby & Co, The Valuable Contents of Dropmore, Burnham, Buckinghamshire, 18th-20th March 1969, as part of lot 114 'An important suite of George III giltwood seat furniture comprising eighteen armchairs, a stool and a window seat'. Illustrated in the accompanying catalogue for the sale, page.39. Also show in-situ in The Long Gallery, p.33

    Dropmore was built as the country residence of William Wyndham Grenville, who had served as Prime Minister under George III. Granville was the son of the Whig Prime Minister George Granville (1712-1770), after studying at Eton and Christ Church, Oxford, Granville entered the House of Commons in 1782. Granville was a close associate of his cousin William Pitt the Younger. He was to serve as Speaker of the House, Home Secretary and Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs during the French Revolution. While out of office in the early years of the 19th century Granville became close to the Whig leader Charles James Fox (1749–1806) and on the death of Pitt in 1806 Grenville became head of the 'Ministry of Al the Talents' which was a coalition formed by the Whigs and the supporters of the former Prince Minister Lord Sidmouth. The coalition was not perceived as effective although it is remembered for its achievements in the abolition of the slave trade.

    Dropmore was built in 1795 and designed by the architects Samuel Wyatt (1737-1807)and Charles Heathcote Tatham (1772-1842). Granville was familiar with the spot on which Dropmore was built from is rambles while studying at Eton and particularly admired the views of the school and Windsor Castle in the distance. By the time of his death in 1834 over 2,500 tree had been planted and at his Pinetum contained the biggest collection of conifer species in Britain. Although records for the furnishings of Dropmore are not extant, it is known that Grenville was a Gillow client and his name appears in the Gillows Estimate Sketch Books for 1796 (Westminster City Archive).Given the strong connections between the Wyatt family and the firm of Gillows it would seem likely that firm would have been involved in the furnishing of Dropmore. Two chairs from the Dropmore suite were offered as Sotheby's London, 'The Property of a European Collector', 26 November 2010, lot 136???????????

    Two other armchairs from the Dropmore suite were offered Sotheby's, London, The Property of a European Collector, 26 November 2003, lot 136. The above model is also identical to a set of four armchairs one with a pencil inscription R.Gillow, sold Christie's, New York, 22 April ??, lot 76. Susan Stuart illustrates two chairs from this set in S.Stuart, Gillows of Lancaster and London, 1730-1840, vol.1., p.181, pl.147 and suggests that they resemble the pattern ordered by Robert Peel in 1786 and may be part of the set of 'ten armed chairs' that he ordered. Known as as 'French style' chairs by the Gillow firm, the design for the Peel chairs appears in Gillow Estimate Sketch books for October 1786 (Westminster City Archive) and is re-produced by S.Stuart, ibid, p.181, pl.146.A pair of chairs from the Dropmore suite were sold at Sotheby's London, John Keil, Furniture from 154 Brompton Road, 7 April 1998, lot 9 and again Sotheby's London, 26 November 2003, lot 136. Another pair of chairs of this model were sold Christie's London, 11 November 1999, lot 163.
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