Property from a Private Connecticut Collection
A GEORGE II WALNUT OPEN ARMCHAIR BY GILES GRENDEY, CIRCA 1740
the back seat rail bearing the trade label: GILES GRENDEY / In St. Jon's-Square, Clerkenwell / LONDON / makes and sells all sorts of cabn. / goods, chairs, and glasses.
Branded IC three times and stamped ID once on the underside of the seat rails
height 38 ¾ in.; width 28 ½ in.; depth 22 in.
98.5 cm; 72.5 cm; 56 cm
In good condition with usual minor wear and age cracks particularly on splat, visible in catalogue photo. Repairs to stiles and one front talon, and splices to back feet. Surface a rich warm color with light wax polish. Some old worm holes on seat rails. One small (approx. 1/2 inch) loss to veneer of proper right seat rail.
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.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.
Possibly supplied to Joseph Moyle, later Copley, at Sprotborough Hall, Doncaster, Yorkshire, second quarter 18th century
Possibly one of the armchairs visible in photographs of the hall and library at Sprotborough published in Country Life, 11 February 1922
John Shaffer Phipps, New York
Sotheby's New York, 21 November 1981, lot 235
M. Turpin Antiques, London
M. Azarm and G. Bland, 'English Taste, American Flavor', The Connoisseur, July 1981, Vol. 207, illustrated p.217, plate 4
R. Edwards (ed.), The Dictionary of English Furniture, 3 Vols., London (1954)
P. Macquoid, The Age of Walnut, London (1905)
Lucy Wood, Upholstered Furniture in the Lady Lever Art Gallery, Vol.I, New Haven and London (2008), illustrated p.254 fig.153
This chair is part of a larger set possibly supplied to the Copley (later Bewicke-Copley) family of Sprotborough Hall, Yorkshire, where three chairs and two armchairs were recorded in 1922, a few years before the house's demolition. The offered armchair and three side chairs from the suite from the J. S. Phipps Collection, Old Westbury, New York, were sold Sotheby's New York, 21 November 1981, lots 233-35. Of the side chairs, one is now in the Art Institute of Chicago and another in the Carnegie Museum, Pittsburgh. A further side chair is in the Crab Tree Farm collection, Chicago. Other side chairs from the suite are illustrated in Edwards, Vol I, p. 257, fig.95, and Macquoid p. 206, fig. 192.
Giles Grendey (1693–1780) was one of the most important cabinetmakers working in London in the 18th century. Born in Gloucestershire, he was in the capital as an apprentice to William Sherborne at the age of 16. By 1731 he had established his workshop in St John's Square, Clerkenwell, which operated until at least 1755 and was a large enterprise serving both domestic and overseas client. Grendey is particularly noteworthy for his chair production, and a number of examples bearing his label survive. Many also bear stamped initials thought to represent journeymen from his workshop, and the present armchair bears the initials ID and IC which appear on all the recorded examples from the set. It has been suggested by Dr Adam Bowett that the ID mark, which is impressed, refers to a workmen's stamp, whereas as the IC is larger and appears to be branded, suggesting it may be an inventory mark, possibly referring to the owner of Sprotborough Hall, Joseph Moyle, who took the name Copley upon inheriting the estate through his wife, the daughter of only surviving heir of Sir Godfrey Copley, 2nd Baronet (1653-1709).