second quarter 18th century
John Andrews, British Antique Furniture, 4th Edition (Antique Collectors' Club), London, 2001, p. 120
These chairs, which are illustrated in Britain's best selling guide to English furniture, demonstrate the restraint of English chair design twenty years before the Chippendale period. Though carved, they rely more on form than surface adornment for their success. Their shell-carved knees, symbolising the watery birth of Venus, are beautifully carried over onto the seat apron: a rare feature which is almost always a sign of a top quality maker. Crisply carved acanthus on the 'ears' of the knees adds to the boldness of the leg design. The splat and stiles are kept relatively plain so as not to detract from the lower half of the chair.
Two closely related sets of chairs in mahogany and walnut sold in these rooms, 3 July 2003, lot 63 and 26 November 2003, lot 34.
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