Christie's London, 'The Chair', 29 October 1997, lot 17
Susan Weber Soros, The Secular Furniture of E.W. Godwin, New Haven, 1999, pp.135-136 for related examples, p. 260, cat. no. 508, illustrated
The present lot relates to Godwin’s ‘Greek’ chair, the original of which was inspired by a stool depicted on the East Frieze of the Parthenon Marbles in the British Museum. The first sketch he made of the stool dates around 1883. However, it is known that he had created a line of Anglo-Greek furniture for Waugh and Sons in 1876, of which no designs have ever emerged. In the 1880s, when working on a Greek play, Godwin resurrected the Greek theme and designed a line of Anglo-Greek chairs which were marketed commercially by William Watt and produced in several versions. The first version of the ‘Greek’ chair showed historicist references that were later simplified, producing a stripped-down abstract form that appears almost Modernist.
Overall in very good condition. The wooden surfaces with minor scuffs, nicks, rubbing and minor shallow indentations consistent with age and gentle use. The front proper left edge of the front frame with two horizontal hairline cracks, the largest measuring approximately 7cm and appears stable. The bottom nail in this area is missing. Some of the nails have possibly been replaced. The rush seat with minor rubbing and wear. A superb example of one of Godwin's rarest designs in an unusual execution. "In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."