Dalmahoy House was built in Midlothian, near Edinburgh, in 1725 for George Dalrymple (d. 1745), a younger son of the Earl of Stair. The house was designed by Scotland’s foremost architect of the time, William Adam (1689–1748). In 1750 the house was sold to James Douglas, 14th Earl of Morton and remained in the family until 1935. The 14th Earl also owned Aberdour House in Fife, a 17th century mansion near the medieval fortification Aberdour Castle, which could have been an alternative home from which these sofas came (M. Dean and M. Miers, Scotland’s Endangered Houses, London 1990, p.44).
Thomas Chippendale’s prefatory note to the third edition of The Gentleman and Cabinet-Maker’s Director, 1762, is testament to the patronage of the 14th Earl of Morton, explaining that the bed illustrated on plate XXXIX ‘has been made for the Earls of Dumfries and Morton’ (C. Gilbert, The Life and Work of Thomas Chippendale, London, 1978, vol. I, p. 139). Whilst Chippendale’s dealings with the Earl of Morton cannot be traced in any paper work, this reference affirms the quality of the furniture at Dalmahoy House.
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