Purchased by the present vendor from Christopher Gibbs Ltd., 118 New Bond Street, London, W1Y 9AB, 10 October 1973, then given the provenance of the collection of Captain Evelyn, Wooton Park, Surrey.
The design of the offered lot clearly reflects the influence of the Chinese taste which had become highly fashionable during the period 1750-1760. Pattern books of this time such as W. Halfpenny, Twenty New Designs of Chinese Lattice, 1750, and J Crunden and J. Morris, The Carpenter`s Companion for Chinese Railings and Gates, 1765, were now purely devoted to this trend. The pattern of this chair back has marked affinities with designs for Chinese Chairs in Thomas Chippendale's Director, First Edition, 1754 and also plates 26 and 27 in the third edition. Similar designs are also shown in Robert Manwaring, The Cabinet and Chair-maker`s Real Friend and Companion, 1765, plates 10-12. In the Director Chippendale observes that they ``have commonly cane bottoms with loose cushions, but if required, they have stuffed seats and brass nails''.
Related lattice back chairs are illustrated in F. Lewis Hinckley, A Directory of Antique Furniture, 1953, p.176, fig.545, and Ralph Edwards and Percy Macquoid, The Dictionary of English Furniture, 3 vols. rev.d Edition 1954, vol. I, p. 286, fig. 191.
A set of chairs which relate to the offered lot in terms of style were commissioned by the 4th Duke of Beaufort for Badminton House, Gloucestershire, and remain at the house to this day, (cf. C. Hussey, English Country Houses: Early Georgian, 1955, p.163, pl.281). A further related example is shown illustrated in Country Life , 21 April 1977, p.995.
These chairs could probably have been designed for a bedroom in the Chinese style, for which Chippendale considered chairs of this type very suitable, especially if the room was hung with an appropriate 'Indian' wall paper.
William Halfpenny in his New Designs for Chinese Temples 1750, also illustrates several designs for chairs and benches in this Chinese style ( pl. 38-40, 46, 47 and 48) one of which is captioned, 'A chair in the Chinese taste - 'Perspective designs for Chairs, partly in the Chinese manner, most suitable Banqueting houses, Rural Buildings etc.' It is possible therefore that these chairs may also have been conceived for use in such a building.
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