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Object of the Week – Fine Pair of George III Cream Painted and Parcel Gilt Armchairs by François Hervé

Object of the Week – Fine Pair of George III Cream Painted and Parcel Gilt Armchairs by François Hervé

H: 89cm   W: 71cm   D: 71cm

An exceptional pair of George III period cream japanned and parcel-gilt armchairs, having the square backs and sides with bead moulded frames, on turned fluted legs headed by paterae. The Roman-tablet and antique-fluted frames are wreathed in ‘Venus’ pearls after the ‘Etruscan’ fashion. Evoking lyric poetry, Apollonian palms flower their corner tablets and wreath the hollowed capitals of their columnar legs. A related pattern, described as ‘in the newest taste’ featured in Thomas Sheraton’s, Cabinet-Maker and Upholsterer’s Drawing Book, 1791-4 (pl. 32 of Part III).

These chairs are characteristic of English Francophile taste of the late 18th century, with a minimum of ornamentation typical of James Wyatt.

A sofa of nearly identical design and construction, later gilt and lacking the beaded decoration, is in the collection of National Trust at Belton House, Lincolnshire (NT 434792). A related pair of George III painted and parcel-gilt open armchairs, similarly decorated in the manner indicative of the oeuvre of Francois Hervé, and bearing a Norman Adams trade label, was sold from the collection of the late Mrs. Charles W. Engelhard, 18 March 2005, Christie’s, New York ($45,600).

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