A Royal Seat made for The Queen and fit for a King.
A Regency carved giltwood sofa, to designs by George Smith and attributed to Tatham, Bailey and Saunders, circa 1812.
Upholstered in pink silk damask, stamped WINDSOR CASTLE ROOM 250.
Also bearing the inventory label B250, and signed in script R. Golly, Oct 8th. 1828, when it would have been recovered.
It is most likely to be one of the giltwood sofas in the watercolour by Charles Wild (1781-1835) showing the newly refurbished Blue Drawing Room in the north-west corner of Buckingham House, c.1812.
Published in W. H. Pyne’s famous History of the Royal Residences (1817), it was one of the few carpeted rooms shown at Buckingham House. Originally used as the Queen’s bedroom, it became her dressing room from the 1760s. A suite of giltwood seat furniture was supplied to compliment the new decorative scheme, most probably by Messrs Tatham, Bailey and Saunders. Seven armchairs from the same suite remain in the Royal Collection (RCIN 2413).
Tatham, Bailey and Saunders supplied furniture to the Royal Pavilion and, following the Prince Regent’s succession to the throne in 1820, much of the furnishings in Windsor Castle when Morel & Seddon extensively redecorated the interiors and reupholstered furniture including this sofa. In supporting evidence of the above connection there are fragments of blue fabric beneath the later pink top cover. Most of the work was completed in 1827, a year prior to Morel and Seddon being granted a warrant as Upholsterers in Ordinary to His Majesty, when the sofa was signed and dated, and when it is safe to assume it was placed in Room 250.
Founded in the 1780’s by George Elward and William Marsh with premises at 14 Mount Street, London, Tatham, Bailey and Saunders was formed when joined by Edward Bailey in 1793 followed by Thomas Tatham (brother of the designer C.H. Tatham) in 1798. Generally known as ‘Marsh and Tatham’ until 1811 when Richard Saunders became a partner. Thereafter it was generally known as ‘Tatham, Bailey and Saunders’.
The stretcher stamped WINDSOR CASTLE ROOM 250 and a fragment of the original blue fabric.