A pair of George III carved mahogany 'Gainsborough' type open armchairsin the French taste (2) Guy Savill
TYPE OPEN ARMCHAIRS Sold for £182,500 in London, 19 November 2014

Art Market Review

Issue 9, July - December 2014

Page 26

These were fascinating pieces of furniture with intriguing links to Thomas Chippendale. The pronounced curve of the arms and the shaping of the cabriole legs, for example, relate closely to a pattern for a 'French Chair' illustrated in the third edition of Chippendale's The Gentleman and Cabinet–Makers Director of 1762. There are also significant connections with the cabinet-makers Wright and Elwick, established in Wakefield in 1747. Again it is the arms which suggest the connection. The form of the arms relates closely to a suite of five library armchairs made by the company for the Earl of Swinton. They also carry a small Chinoiserie 'blind fret' motif which is strongly reminiscent of a group of furniture made by Wright and Elwick for the Marquis of Rockingham at Wentworth Woodhouse. This commission shows the influence of Chippendale's designs published in the first edition of his Gentleman and Cabinet-Makers Director in 1754 to which the partners in Wright and Elwick both subscribed.

Guy Savill
Director of English Furniture

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