This 'Grecian' klismos chair strongly demonstrates the influence of the celebrated arbiter of early Regency taste, Thomas Hope (1769–1831). Hope acquired his renowned house in Duchess Street in 1799 and quickly set about remodelling it and furnishing it in a style strongly inspired by his Grand Tours of Greece and Egypt. The first floor apartments of the house were laid out as rooms of display to be opened to the public, living apartments were above. In February 1804 he sent out tickets of admission to sixty members of the Royal Academy which were to admit the bearer and three friends to the house between 18th February and 31st March. Curiosity about the house grew and there was much positive praise. As well as Royal Academicians, admission would be granted in the case of 'An application signed by some persons of known character and taste'. The design of this chair relates closely to a chair illustrated in Thomas Hope, Regency Furniture and Interior Decoration , 1807, pl. 11, fig. II and III illustrates a chair with the same broad shaped backrest and long flat arms.
For a variant of this design, with rams head terminals instead of lions, see a chair sold, Sotheby's, Much Hadham Hall, Hertfordshire, 1 October 1980, lot 703.
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