A George II carved mahogany library armchair in the manner of Paul Saunders
Lot 66
A George II carved mahogany library armchair, possibly by Paul Saunders
Sold for £22,500 (US$ 37,818) inc. premium
Lot Details
A George II carved mahogany library armchair, possibly by Paul Saunders
The serpentine padded back, open arms and seat upholstered in later floral tapestry, the acanthus scroll carved arm terminals with conformingly carved downswept supports, the seat with similarly carved aprons to the front and sides, the cabriole legs with cabochons to the knees above fluting and acanthus scroll feet, retaining traces of parcel-gilding and formerly with recessed castors, 77cm wide, 83cm deep, 103cm high (30" wide, 32.5" deep, 40.5" high).

Footnotes

  • 'Provenance: Possibly part of a larger suite including eight armchairs and two sofas with Phillips of Hitchin in 1948.'

    Comparative Literature:
    H. Cescinsky, English Furniture of the Eighteenth Century, 1911, vol. II, p. 91, fig. 89

    M. Jourdain and F. Rose, English Furniture, The Georgian Period (1750-1830), London, 1953, p. 71, fig. 30

    The present armchair belongs to a group of closely related seat furniture traditionally associated with the upholsterer, tapestry-maker and cabinet-maker Paul Saunders (b.1722-d.1771), which feature similar traits such as the fluting to the supports, bold cabochons to the knees and bulbous scrolling feet. This includes a suite of eight armchairs and two sofas of identical design which, formerly with Messrs. Phillips of Hitchin 1948 (See: Jourdain and Rose, op. cit.), two of which (also decorated with parcel-gilding) were sold Christie's, London, The property of the late Mrs. Barbara Campbell Golding, November 27, 2003, lot 100 and a further pair, Christie's New York '500 Years Decorative Arts Europe' 29 November 2012, lot 380. The Goulding pair were parcel-gilded and bore the Roman numerals VII and VIIII. Another single armchair of this pattern Sold Sotheby's New York, 16 October 2008, lot 216. An attribution can be considered on the grounds of the aforementioned group's (including the offered lot) close affinities with a set of six armchairs and a set of nine single chairs probably supplied to the 1st Earl of Leicester for Holkham Hall by Paul Saunders in 1757 for Holkham Hall, Norfolk (see: Anthony Coleridge, Chippendale Furniture, 1968, pls. 378-379). Further evidence linking chairs exhibiting traits shared with the chair here, is provided by a pair of armchairs sold Christie's London, Longleat House, 13 June 2002, lot 338 which are likewise attributed to Saunders. The grounds for their attribution is provided by both their similarity to the Holkham examples illustrated Coleridge op. cit. and payments to Paul Saunders, of £556 15s in November 1757 and £300 in November 1959, recorded in the 3rd Viscount Weymouth's bank account at Drummonds (see: C. Cator, 'Works of Art from Longleat', Christie's International Magazine, May/June 2002, pp. 69-78). The design of the present lot and the other comparable examples above relate to patterns for 'French' chairs published variously in Chippendale's third edition of The Gentleman and Cabinet-Maker's Director, 1762 pl. XIX and Ince and Mayhew's Universal System of Household Furniture, 1762, pls. LVIII and LIX.

    Paul Saunders (b.1722-d.1771) supplied furnishings for both London and country house clients in the 1750s and 1760s, including Holderness House, London, Petworth House, Sussex, Holkham House, Norfolk and Stowe, Buckinghamshire. His initial training was as an apprentice to the upholsterer Michael Bradshaw in 1738. The latter was probably related to George Smith Bradshaw who became his business partner after 1750. The partnership ended in 1756, but Saunders was able to maintain part of the workshop located in Sutton Street near Soho Square. In 1757 he was appointed 'Tapestry Maker to the King' and in 1761 he attained the additional role of 'Yeoman Tapestry Taylor' in the Great Wardrobe, both of which positions he held until his death.
Activities
Contacts
  1. Jackie Brown
    Auction Administration - English Furniture and Works of Art
    Bonhams
    Work
    101 New Bond Street
    London, W1S 1SR
    United Kingdom
    Work +44 20 7468 8204
    FaxFax: +44 20 7468 8208
  2. Fergus Lyons
    Specialist - English Furniture and Works of Art
    Bonhams
    Work
    101 New Bond Street
    London, W1S 1SR
    United Kingdom
    Work +44 20 7468 8221
  3. Guy Savill
    Specialist - English Furniture and Works of Art
    Bonhams
    Work
    101 New Bond Street
    London, W1S 1SR
    United Kingdom
    Work +44 20 8963 2848
    FaxFax: +44 20 8963 2807
  4. Sally Stratton
    Specialist - English Furniture and Works of Art
    Bonhams
    Work
    101 New Bond Street
    London, W1S 1SR
    United Kingdom
    Work +44 20 8963 2847
    FaxFax: +44 20 8963 2807