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Dining chair

Dining chair

  • Place of origin:

    England (designed)
    England (possibly, made)
    Germany (possibly, made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1838 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    A.W. Pugin, born 1812 - died 1852 (designer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Carved oak, the upholstery covered in imitation leather

  • Museum number:

    CIRC.236-1951

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This chair is one of a set of six dining chairs, with two armchairs, designed by the architect A.W.N. Pugin for Charles Scarisbrick of Scarisbrick Hall, Lancashire in about 1838. Pugin made alterations and additions to Scarisbrick Hall, a sixteenth-century manor house, between 1836 and 1845. It was his first independent architectural commission.

The design of the chair is very similar to one illustrated by Pugin in his book Gothic Furniture in the Style of the 15th Century, published in 1835. Although the design is based on medieval chairs illustrated in manuscripts, those earlier examples would not have been upholstered. Despite this difference, the relatively simple style of this chair marks Pugin’s move away from the decorative and fanciful Gothic of the Regency period, towards a correct and more direct use of medieval sources.

The V&A also owns an armchair (Circ.237-1951) from the Scarisbrick set.

Physical description

Carved oak X-frame chair with imitation leather upholstery on the seat and back.

Place of Origin

England (designed)
England (possibly, made)
Germany (possibly, made)

Date

ca. 1838 (made)

Artist/maker

A.W. Pugin, born 1812 - died 1852 (designer)

Materials and Techniques

Carved oak, the upholstery covered in imitation leather

Dimensions

Height: 110.5 cm approx, Width: 47 cm approx, Depth: 60 cm approx

Object history note

One of a set of dining chairs and armchairs designed by A.W.N. Pugin for Charles Scarisbrick of Scarisbrick Hall, Lancashire in about 1838. Pugin worked for Charles Scarisbrick between 1836 and 1845, making major alterations and additions to Scarisbrick Hall, the sixteenth century manor house which had already been extensively altered by Thomas Rickman between 1813 and 1816. Edward Hull, a furniture dealer of 55 St. Martin's Lane and 109 Wardour Street, London, supplied furniture for Scarisbrick but the surviving accounts are not sufficiently detailed to identify these dining chairs. Two armchairs and six chairs were sold by Sir Everard Scarisbrick at Philips Son and Neale, London, 13th August 1951 lot 59. One amchair and this chair were purchased by the Museum. The rest of the set was bought by the Ministry of Works, possibly for use in the Houses of Parliament.

Historical significance: One of a set of chairs made for Scarisbrick Hall in Lancashire, Pugin's first important architectural commission. This is a variation of a design published by Pugin in Gothic Furniture in the Style of the 15th Century (1835). It was based upon medieval examples illustrated in manuscripts. As such, it represents Pugin's move away from the decorative and fanciful Gothic of the Regency period towards a correct and more honest use of sources. The manufacturer is not known. It is even possible that the chairs were made in North Germany, for the Wardour Street antique dealer John Coleman Issacs had furniture of this type made there from designs in Pugin's book and imported into England via Hamburg. Pugin was closely involved at this time with the London antique trade, buying and selling through the dealer Edward Hull, whose premises were also in Wardour Street. In 1834 Pugin designed a range of furniture for Hull, and at Pugin's suggestion Charles Scarisbrick patronized these dealers through the late 1830s and into the 1840s.

Descriptive line

Dining chair of carved oak, upholstered in imitation leather, designed by AWN Pugin for Scarisbrick Hall, Lancashire

Labels and date

DINING CHAIR
ENGLISH; about 1837
Carved oak upholstered in imitation leather

Designed by A.W.N. Pugin (1812-1852) for Charles Scarisbrick of Scarisbrick Hall, Lancs. One of a set of six dining chairs and two armchairs. [pre October 2000]

Materials

Oak; Imitation leather

Techniques

Carved; Upholstering

Categories

Furniture

Collection

Furniture and Woodwork Collection

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