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  • Armchair
    Pugin, Augustus Charles, born 1769 - died 1832
  • Enlarge image


  • Place of origin:

    Lancaster (possibly, made)
    London (possibly, made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1823 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Pugin, Augustus Charles, born 1769 - died 1832 (designer)
    Gillow & Co. (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Gilded mahogany; modern upholstery based on the original

  • Credit Line:

    Purchased with a bequest from Mrs Blanche Redburn Clayton

  • Museum number:

    W.22:1& 2-1959

  • Gallery location:

    British Galleries, room 120, case 2, shelf EXP []

Object Type
The red and gold upholstery of this chair is based on the original scheme, using fragments of material found on the chair and John Buckler's illustration of the drawing room published in his Views of Eaton Hall (1826). The unusual method of hanging the fabric from the back of the chair was intended to emphasise the Gothic design and to make the backs look more interesting.

Eaton Hall, Cheshire, was built in 1804-1812 for Robert, 2nd Earl Grosvenor (1767-1845) by the architect William Porden (1755-1822), with additional wings of 1823-1825. (The house was altered 1846-51, rebuilt in 1870 and demolished in 1963.) The drawing room was furnished with blue and yellow curtains and a range of furniture in different versions of the Gothic style, including two of these chairs, covered in crimson velvet and red damask.

Ownership & Use
Lord Grosvenor also commissioned a simplified version of this chair for the dining room at Eaton Hall. Another set of dining chairs was ordered by Lord Berwick from the furniture makers Gillow & Co for his house, Attingham Park, Shropshire. That set, covered in blue leather and carved with vine leaves in the back, are still in the dining room at Attingham.

Physical description

Carved and gilded mahogany. Rectangular stuffed back with horizontal panel at the top set with a plaque of carved and gilded foliage. Open arms enclosing pierced gothic tracery and set with panels of carved and gilded gothic foliage. Moulded legs of square section. The seat rail covered with plum coloured velvet on which are applied cusped panels of mahogany, in the centre of each a carved and gilded flower. From the seat rails, at the side hand carved a gilded gothic pendentives. The chair retains its original silk damask covering, much worn and the seat and stuffed-over top rail. Silk replaced with modern silk.

Place of Origin

Lancaster (possibly, made)
London (possibly, made)


ca. 1823 (made)


Pugin, Augustus Charles, born 1769 - died 1832 (designer)
Gillow & Co. (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Gilded mahogany; modern upholstery based on the original

Marks and inscriptions

RS Dee Conservation Department Victoria and Albert Museum Jan 1961
Lawrence [CI?]osergrove June 27th 1909


Height: 94 cm, Width: 63.5 cm, Depth: 66 cm

Object history note

One of a set of gothic chairs commissioned by the 2nd Earl Grosvenor for the Drawing Room at Eaton Hall, Cheshire. Probably designed by Augustus Charles Pugin (born in Paris, 1769, died in London, 1832); made by Gillow & Co. in Lancaster or London.

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

Peter Lindfield-Ott, 'Furnishing a Gothic Fantasy 1803-1825; Eaton Hall, Cheshire'. Furniture History, vol. XLVIII (2012), pp. 155-180, illustrated p. 166, fig. 14.
Jonathan Meyer, The Intelligent Layman's Book of British Furniture 1600-2000'. London, The Intelligent Layman Publisher Ltd, 2005, pp. 104-185, ill. pp. 145 and 146

Labels and date

ENGLISH; 1822-1825
Mahogany, parcel gilt with modern upholstery

Design attributed to Augustus Charles Pugin (1769-1832)
Maker unknown

Designed for Eaton Hall, the Cheshire seat of the Duke of Westminster, one of the grandest Gothic Revival houses in England. The first part of Eaton was built 1804-1812 to the designs of William Porden (1755-1822); sizeable additions were made in 1822-1825 to the designs of Benjamin Gummow (active 1799-1831). [pre October 2000]
Probably designed by August Charles Pugin (1769-1832) for Eaton Hall, Cheshire
Mahogany, gilded; modern upholstery
One of a set of eight armchairs designed for the drawing room at Eaton Hall, Cheshire, a very large Gothic Revival house built for the Duke of Westminster. A.C. Pugin as draughtsman and teacher, was the faterh fo A.W.N. Pugin (1815-52), the Gothic Revival architect. [1996]
Draft label
One of a set of eight armchairs designed for the drawing-room at Eaton Hall, Cheshire, a very large Gothic Revival house built for the Duke of Westminster. A.C. Pugin, a draughtsman and teacher, was the father of A.W.N. Pugin (1815-52), the Gothic Revival architect. The chairs may have been made by Gillow & Co. of Lancaster and London who worked at Attingham Park, Shropshire, where there are similar chairs in the dining-room. [1996]
This chair is from Eaton Hall, Cheshire, one of the largest and most extravagant Gothic Revival houses of the early 19th century. Its interiors mixed classical forms with Gothic ornament, leading one critic to comment on the 'shapeless tables and chairs, which most incongruously affected to imitate architectural ornaments'. [27/03/2003]


Mahogany; Silk; Velvet


Carving; Gilding

Subjects depicted

Flower; Foliage


Furniture; Woodwork; British Galleries; Household objects


Furniture and Woodwork Collection

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