These richly-carved and elegantly bowed armchairs are inspired by Thomas Chippendale’s designs for ‘French’ easy-chairs from his pattern book The Gentleman and Cabinet-Maker’s Director, 1762, pl. XXIII, and probably came from a much larger suite such as those supplied to the Duke of Bolton for Hackwood Park, Hampshire. At present their provenance remains a tantalising mystery but we can say with certainty that they were part of an important commission. Further chairs from this suite recorded to date include a pair of armchairs sold Bonhams, Fine English and Works of Art, 11 March 2009, lot 19 (£78,000); a pair sold Christie’s London, 5 July 1990, lot 122 and again Christie’s London, 8 July 1999, lot 15 (£122,000), which remain in a private collection. Two further pairs were advertised by Hotspur Ltd in the Grosvenor House Fair Exhibition Catalogue of 1998, two of which were illustrated in N. Goodison and R. Kern, Hotspur: Eighty Years of Antique Dealing, 2004, p.147, fig 13.
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