George III Painted Armchair attributed to Thomas Chippendale


A George III Painted Wheel-back or Star-Back Armchair attributed to Thomas Chippendale, the cartouche shaped back with pierced star or wheel splat with curving arms; the caned seat with original squab cushion supported on cabriole legs in the french taste, all delicately painted with shells, harebells and scrollwork in shades of green on a cream japanned ground.

Whilst not possessing known constructional techniques associated with the workshops of Thomas Chippendale, such as the clamp notches around the rear leg (which may be due to the caned seat and the associated weakness in the inside edge of the frame that the clamp notches create), due to strong similarities with other pieces known to have been supplied by the great furniture designer/workshop,  this chair could be attributed to the work of Thomas Chippendale.

Height 93 cm (36.5 inches)
Width 61 cm (24 inches)
Depth 54 cm (21.5 inches)
Seat Height 44 cm (17.5 inches)
English. Circa 1775

The distinct wheel-back of this chair is very similar to a set of cartouche wheel-back chairs photographed by Edwin Smith in ‘The Balcony Room’ at Dyrham Park, Gloucestershire, in 1971 (Illustrated).

In 1774, Thomas Chippendale supplied ‘green and white japanned’ ‘Star back’ chairs for Paxton House, Scotland (C. Gilbert, The Life and Work of Thomas Chippendale, London, 1978, vol. II, p. 271 and fig. 164). The star-backs, though within oval rather than cartouche-shaped frames are similarly decorated and of identical form to those on that on the offered armchair

Henry Hill of Marlborough also used a similar pattern for chairs supplied to Thomas Mansel at Penrice Castle, Glamorgan, in 1778 (illustrated Lucy Wood, The Upholstered Furniture in the Lady Lever Art Gallery, Volume II, Singapore, 2008, p. 628, fig. 394).

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