A set of dining chairs designed by Philip Hardwick and made by W. & C. Wilkinson for Goldsmiths' Hall in 1834 feature similar distinctive carved and collared sabre legs morticed into a slightly outset seatrail (see Frances Collard, Regency Furniture, 1985, p. 125).
The design for the present pair of armchairs is inspired by Thomas Hope, the influential Regency collector and promoter of the gout grec. Hope published Household Furniture and Interior Decoration in 1807 following his eight year grand tour, including visits to Greece, Italy and Asia Minor. The art of the Antique that he studied in these countries provided him with a major source for his published engravings. A second influence which Hope acknowledged, was the work of the leading French Empire designers, Percier and Fontaine, whose Recueil de Décorations Intérieures, 1800, likewise owes a debt to the the art of classical civilisation. Other notable Regency designers whose pattern books have possibly provided inspiration for the present lot include George Smith, Peter and Michael Angelo Nicholson, and Thomas King.
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