A George III black and polychrome painted leather and giltwood carved sedan chair
Lot 77
A late 18th century black and polychrome painted leather and giltwood carved sedan chair
Sold for £5,000 (US$ 8,404) inc. premium
Lot Details
A late 18th century black and polychrome painted leather and giltwood carved sedan chair
Possibly Continental, the domed hinged canopy with gilt bronze acorn finials above part glazed sash door and sides, enclosing a cream damask interior with rectangular buttoned loose squab, the sides painted with draped frieze framed gilt cartouches, the reverse similarly painted with a monogrammed 'G' and coronet, with guilloche applied gilt metal bands, with bearer handles, on sleigh feet, with two long pole bearers, 69cm wide, 81cm deep, 161cm high (27" wide, 31.5" deep, 63" high). (3)

Footnotes

  • Sedan chairs of the present form possibly originated in France as their name is feasibly linked to the French town of the same name. However their use elsewhere in Europe had become widespread by the mid 17th century on the evidence of the Diarist John Evelyn. During a visit to Naples on 8th February 1645 he recorded that 'The Streets are full of gallants on horseback, in coaches, and sedans,'

    Simultaneously in London, sedans were also operated under license on a commercial basis where they could negotiate narrow streets more effectively than carriages. Design sources include those by Robert Adam who published a pattern for Sedan Chair for Queen Charlotte in 1775 and Giovanni Battista Piranesi who included engravings for a sedan in Diverse Maniere d'adornare I cammini ed ogni altra parte degli edifizi desunte dall' architettura Egizia produced between the 1760 and the mid 1770s.

    Although the popularity of this mode of transport had declined by the end of the 18th century, its use continued in isolated towns associated with invalids such as Bath and Tunbridge Wells where it was particularly suited for conveying infirm occupants up flights of stairs.

    The chair here features a cartouche framing the initial G beneath a Count's coronet which is indicative of a continental origin.

Saleroom notices

  • Please note that this is an English 'Westminster' Sedan and that painted cartouches to the sides are possibly of a later date. The Finials or standards have been replaced.
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  1. Fine Furniture (UK)
    Auction Administration - English Furniture and Works of Art
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  2. Jackie Brown
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  3. Fergus Lyons
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    Bonhams
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  4. Guy Savill
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    Bonhams
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    United Kingdom
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  5. Sally Stratton
    Specialist - English Furniture and Works of Art
    Bonhams
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    101 New Bond Street
    London, W1S 1SR
    United Kingdom
    Work +44 20 8963 2847
    FaxFax: +44 20 8963 2807