A Regency mahogany and brass inlaid open armchair attributed to R.Edmundson & Sons
Lot 185
A Regency mahogany and brass inlaid open armchair attributed to R.Edmundson & Sons
Sold for £20,000 (US$ 33,143) inc. premium
Lot Details
A Regency mahogany and brass inlaid open armchair
attributed to R.Edmundson & Sons
Applied with gilt brass mounts, the curved rectangular toprail inlaid with stylised scrolling leaves above a closenailed padded back and lotus leaf cast crossbar, above padded reeded arms with paterae cast finials above reeded arm supports, rectangular padded and closenailed seats on octagonal tapering legs headed by gilt brass lions masks on leaf cast cappings and castors, one castor missing.

Footnotes

  • Provenance: commissioned for either one of the Drawing Rooms or the Saloon at Liverpool Town Hall, Liverpool, Merseyside c.1820.

    Literature: J.Dean, The Regency Furniture in Liverpool Town Hall, Furniture History, 1989, pp. 127-144, Furniture History Society, fig.14.

    This open armchair was originally part of a large set of thirty seven armchairs commissioned by Liverpool Town Council after the original Town Hall was partly destroyed by fire in 1795.

    James Wyatt (1746-1813) was appointed the architect for the new interior, the rooms on the ground floor were finally completed in 1808. The Corporation Surveyor, John Foster (c.1759-1827) produced designs for the Dining Room, Saloon and East and West Drawing Rooms in 1811/12. These designs were supplied by Wyatt's former pupil, the architect Joseph Gandy (1771-1843).

    Gandy received a first payment of £100 on account for 'drawing patterns of furniture' on 2 October 1811, a second for a similar amount on 5 November 1812 and £138 17s.6d in full settlement on 27 March 1813. Gandy had previously been in partnership with the cabinet-maker George Bullock between 1809-1810 at 55 Church St, Liverpool.

    The 'pattern chair' approved by the Committee on 19 December 1817 for the two Drawing Rooms and Saloon led to the manufacture of the above lot alongside the thirty six other armchairs and other items of furniture.

    Rachel Edmundson & Sons were responsible for providing nearly all of the furniture for the new rooms. The seat furniture were upholstered in 'Crimson Cloth' and were also supplied by R.Edmundson & Sons in 1825.

    Rachel Edmundson had inherited her husband's firm of cabinet-makers and upholsterers in 1810. Her husband, Richard, had founded the firm alongside Robert Edmundson at Castle Ditch, Liverpool in 1781. Rachel Edmundson & Sons are recorded as working from 1816-51 and were at 2 Oldhall St (1816-35) and Marshall St (1817-23). (See G.Beard & C.Gilbert, Dictionary of English Furniture Makers 1660-1840, p.268).

    According to the 1835 inventory, twelve of these armchairs were placed in the West Drawing Room, twelve in the Saloon and thirteen in the East Drawing Room.
    Thirty three of the original set are still at the Town Hall.

    Various pieces of furniture were sold by the City Council at auction in the late 1980's. A pair of William IV open armchairs and matching set of eight single chairs by William Turner were made to match a set of armchairs supplied by Morel & Seddon in 1829, (J.Dean, The Regency Furniture in Liverpool Town Hall, Furniture History, 1989, Furniture History Society, fig.29). These were subsequently sold Christies, London, 12 February 1998, lots 420-421.
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