A rare and monumental Charles II oak and marquetry-inlaid panel-back open armchair, South Yorkshire/Derbyshire, dated 1670
Lot 502
A rare and monumental Charles II oak and marquetry-inlaid panel-back open armchair, South Yorkshire/Derbyshire, dated 1670
Sold for £28,750 (US$ 45,912) inc. premium

Lot Details
A rare and monumental Charles II oak and marquetry-inlaid panel-back open armchair, South Yorkshire/Derbyshire, dated 1670 A rare and monumental Charles II oak and marquetry-inlaid panel-back open armchair, South Yorkshire/Derbyshire, dated 1670 A rare and monumental Charles II oak and marquetry-inlaid panel-back open armchair, South Yorkshire/Derbyshire, dated 1670 A rare and monumental Charles II oak and marquetry-inlaid panel-back open armchair, South Yorkshire/Derbyshire, dated 1670
A rare and monumental Charles II oak and marquetry-inlaid panel-back open armchair, South Yorkshire/Derbyshire, dated 1670
Having a double-panelled back, the larger panel profusely marquetry-inlaid with a floral spray and a pair of resting birds, the slender panel above inlaid with an interlaced knot-design, the rail between the two decorated panels carved with the initials and date IS 1670, the uprights carved with an interlaced strap-work design above the arms and a stiff-leaf design below, the whole surmounted by an impressive double scroll-outlined cresting carved to the centre with the head of male with well-defined curly hair and a moustache, festoons of exotic fruit to either side, above a distinctive dentil-moulding, over highly unusual ears each carved with a three-quarter male profile with a highly similar face to that found on the cresting and playing a wind instrument, the substantial downswept open-arms ending in a pronounced scroll to each side, raised on multiple ring-turned tapering front supports, the boarded seat positioned around the arm-supports, over unusual seat-rails carved with interlaced roundel and elongated-oval boss over a canted cusped-centre and bicuspid outlined ends, raised on conforming turned tapering legs headed by multiple ring-turning, joined by plain stretchers, 74.5cm wide x 62.5cm deep x 139.5cm high, (29in wide x 24 1/2in deep x 54 1/2in high)

Footnotes

  • This lot is constructed in the Elizabethan-Revival manner; a style popularized in Yorkshire and the surrounding areas during the mid-17th century. It is characterized by the use of inlaid floral panels and/or bands of geometric parquetry inlay, together with the elaborate use of carved decoration. Victor Chinnery, Oak Furniture: The British Tradition, (1993), illustrates several pieces of Yorkshire inlaid furniture, all of which are dated to the mid-17th century, yet distinctly 'Elizabethan' in character. The author refers to the decoration as an archaic survival of an earlier taste, see p.322, fig. 3:267; p.471, fig. 4:120 and p.472, fig. 4:121.

    Apart from the sheer size, the basic form of this armchair is fairly typical of 17th century Yorkshire/Derbyshire examples, with a slender back-panel over a larger panel, both with inlay, and surmounted by a double scroll-outlined arched cresting. However, the carved decoration employed is far from conventional; the male mask to the cresting and the pipers forming the chairs ears are highly unusual. They, together with the treatment of the seat rails, all refer to the aforementioned Elizabethan style. This is demonstrated by an Elizabethan tester bed illustrated in Percy Macquoid, The Age of Oak, p. 77, fig. 67, which has carved terms to the edges of the headboard which appear to be playing wind instruments similar to the one found here.

    An unusually large panel-back armchair attributed to Yorkshire, dating from the first half of the 17th century, with comparable marquetry inlay as found here, sold The Beedham Collection, Bonhams Chester, 24 May 2012, lot 231, (£19,500). Another large Yorkshire example, from the same collection, of similar height, but slightly narrower, sold lot 105, (£13,000); it was noted at that time that this chair was approximately 20-30 cm taller than a typical Yorkshire double panel-back armchair.
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  1. David Houlston
    Specialist - Oak Furniture
    Bonhams
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