One of the most graceful chair designs is the horseshoe armchair, which originated more than 500 years ago in the time of the Ming Dynasty. The back rail and arms of the chair form a continuous semicircle, gently descending toward the front with the terminals of the arms bent slightly back in a rhythmic yet reserved curve. This design feature allies nicely with that of the barley-twist which is a well known feature on furniture, originally being Baroque, of Spanish-Moorish origin and coming to England from Portugal with Katherine of Braganza in1661 when she married Charles II. The colour of the walnut in this instance produces a wonderful barley twist which has only improved with age whilst as a design feature it is most commonly seen these days in oak; and was much revived from the time of Queen Anne to during Victoria’s reign as we see with this example.
High Victoriana just got rather sexy.