PROPERTY FROM THE COLLECTION OF THEODORE AND RUTH BAUM
The inner front seat rails variously numbered I, III, IIII, V, VI, VII, VIII, VIIII, X, XI, one with a label A42906. Together with later side chair and a pair of modern arm chairs. 14 pieces.
The graceful design of these chairs, incorporating both gothic and rococo elements, is clearly based on the engraving for chair patterns shown in the first edition of Chippendale’s Director published in 1754. The design has been adapted by slightly elongating certain elements of the center splat to create a more balanced effect than might have been achieved by carefully copying the original. This, together with the exceptional quality of the fine-grained timber and the crisp carving, indicate a chair-maker and carver of considerable skill although, with all furniture following Director patterns, caution must be taken in attributing their provenance to Chippendale himself. Unfortunately, all the papers relating to the Winkburn estate and family were burnt by the housekeeper in the early 1930s destroying any hope of further research into their provenance.
Chippendale notes that ‘They are normally covered with the same stuff as the Window-Curtains’, probably indicating some form of silk damask, although when originally sold by Sotheby’s in 1933 they had eighteenth century needlework covers with an overall design of flowers and scrolling leaves. Certainly Chippendale was not averse to suggesting other forms of covers, noting that ‘French Chairs’ shown on plates XX, XXI, XXII, and XXIII,‘the backs must be covered with Tapestry or Needlework'.
For a closely related design for this chair see: Thomas Chippendale, The Gentleman and Cabinet-Maker’s Director, 1st edition, 1754, plate XII, and the 3rd edition, 1762, plate XIIII. These plates are described as 'various Designs of Chairs for Patterns. The front Feet are mostly different, for the greater Choice. Care must be taken in drawing them at large.'
Christopher Gilbert, The Life and Work of Thomas Chippendale, London, 1978, p. 83, fig. 129, the manuscript design for this chair annotated a new-pattern chair, now in the Collection of The Chippendale Society.
Gervase Jackson-Stops, 'Winkburn Hall, Nottinghamshire', Country Life, June 6, 1991, pp. 102-105
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