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Chair

  • Date:

    1722 (made)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    carved walnut, embroidered silk

  • Museum number:

    W.24-1970

  • Gallery location:

    On display at Marble Hill House, London

This chair is from a set of seat furniture orginally at Glenham Hall, in Suffolk. Glenham Hall was the seat of the North family. The set of furniture, which comprises ten chairs, two stools, and two settees, dates from the 1720s. It may have been made in 1722, when alterations were carried out Glenham Hall. The set is remarkable for its rich carving and original gilding.

The chair is currently on loan to Marble Hill House.

Physical description

From a set of ten chairs, a pair of stools and a pair of small settees from Glemham Hall in Suffolk.
The frames are of carved and gilt-gessoed walnut. The seat-rails of the set are arched at the centre and carved with over-scrolled inverted lambrequins framed by acanthus leaves. The cabriole legs have similar motifs above the cabuchons at the knees, the decoration continuing down in trellised, shaped narrow panels, terminating in square acanthus leaf pad feet. The chairs have tall raked upholstered backs.
The set is covered in a material exactly copied from the original upholstery dating from between 1717 and 1723. It embodies two sorts of silver and two sorts of gold thread on a background of salmon pink silk which shows through the rich brocading to form a delicate linear pattern.
The chairs are embroidered underneath: I, II, IIII, V, VII, VIII, VIIII or X on the secondary frame which runs around the inside edges of the chairs. This frame appears to be contemporary, though it has been strengthened by narrow beading all around, nailed to the frames themselves. Under all the chairs are labels marked 'North Heirlooms' followed by the number '20'. Under the chairs the walnut frames have a yellow ochre colour where the gesso shows ungilded. The bolus, which shows through the gilding in places, is a brownish red.

Date

1722 (made)

Materials and Techniques

carved walnut, embroidered silk

Marks and inscriptions

'I' 'II' 'IIII' 'V' 'VIII' 'VIIII' 'X'
'NORTH HEIRLOOMS'
'20'

Dimensions

Height: 68.6 cm maximum, Height: 105 cm height of seat, Width: 50.8 cm at back, Width: 64.8 cm at front, Depth: 68.6 cm

Object history note

This chair forms part of a larger set of seat furniture, orginally at Glenham Hall in Sussex. Glenham Hall was the seat of the North family, who acquired the house in the late 17th century. Alterations were made to Glenham Hall in 1722 by Dudley North (1684-1729). It may have been at this point that the seat furniture was bought by the family.

In September 1924 the set was in the hands of a London dealer, Edwards of Regent Street (see Connoisseur, Sept 1924) and then went to the Wenergren Collection in Sweden, from which it was sold to a Stockholm dealer who sent it back to England for sale at Sothebys and Co. in April 1970.

Descriptive line

English, 1722, gilded Glemham Hall

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

The set was first illustrated in 1950 in:
Percy Macquoid, A History of English Furniture: The Age of Walnut (Dover Publications) pp.194-5
Also mentioned in:
Country Life, January 1910
English Homes, Period IV, 1920

Materials

Walnut; Silk

Collection

Furniture and Woodwork Collection

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