A George III carved mahogany open armchair in the manner of John Linnell
Lot 85
A George III carved mahogany open armchair attributed to John Linnell
Sold for £13,750 (US$ 22,552) inc. premium

Lot Details
A George III carved mahogany open armchair
attributed to John Linnell
The cartouche shaped moulded back with scrolling cresting above a pierced vertical splat with stylised lotus and acanthus leaves, above outswept arms with ball finials and 'S' shaped moulded arm supports above a serpentine padded seat and moulded seatrail, on fluted tapering legs and lobed feet.

Footnotes

  • This distinctive splat pattern appears on a satinwood armchair with green painted decoration from a set supplied en-suite to bedroom furniture at Castle Howard, Yorkshire, supplied to 5th Earl of Carlisle around 1780, illustrated in H.Hayward and P. Kirkham, William and John Linnell, London, 1980, Vol.II, fig 98. The above lot also shares the same distinctive moulded terminal to the base of the arm support where it joins the seat rail.

    The ball clasped finials are typical feature of Linnell seat furniture and appear on a set of armchairs supplied to Robert Child (d.1782) of Osterley Park (circa 1768) for either Osterley Park or for 38 Berkeley Square. The Child chairs also feature the same clasped lotus leaves where the arm joins the back and the same octagonal moulding under the ball terminal. Two armchairs from this suite were offered Christie's London, 14 June 2001, lot 80 (withdrawn from sale) and on a suite of seat furniture supplied to the Duke of Argyll for Inverary Castle circa 1775-78. See H.Hayward and P. Kirkham, ibid., Vol.II, figs 72,87,89)

    John Linnell's apprenticeship as a cabinet-maker was unusual; in addition to training with his father William's firm on Long Acre he also attended Hogarth's St Martin's Lane Academy where he studied drawing and design in an international, intellectual environment. John Linnell's artistic talent had an immediate impact upon the firm, when he joined his father full time in 1753, specialising in rococo design. Linnell's talent combined with his St Martin's Lane connections meant that, far in advance of most cabinet-makers, he was aware of Delafosse and was experimenting with neo-classicism by 1760. His designs from this period show him experimenting with the new style and the results were both novel and eclectic as he cast about for new combinations of form and ornament. By 1762 Linnell was working with Robert Adam at Kedleston Hall, followed by Osterley Park in 1767. Through his direct contact with Adam, the eclectic designs of Linnell were gradually replaced with an increasingly refined, pure neo-classicism that was fully established by 1775.
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