Fourteen extremely rare and important fine quality mid 19thc mahogany ribband back chairs, the chairs being exact designs from Chippendale’s ‘Director’.
The fourteen chairs consist of a set of twelve mid 19th century (circa 1860) Chippendale style mahogany ribband back chairs and a pair of mid 19th century Chippendale style mahogany ribband back armchairs, all of bold proportions.
Both styles of chair being exact designs from ‘The Gentleman and Cabinet-Maker’s Director’ First Edition 1754 by Thomas Chippendale (1718-1779), the drawings featured as Plate XVI in the 1754 and 1755 editions and renumbered as Plate XV in the 1762 edition.
We have undertaken considerable research on the set of twelve chairs ourselves and also used professional researchers but no photographic evidence has been found of this exact model of chair, although many similar examples can be found – this set may be the only set of chairs of this design in existence on the open market.
The set of twelve single chairs each consist of a shaped and carved top rail with foliate carved decoration of typical Rococo designs.
The finely carved central back consisting of a suspended tassel leading down to a fluid carved ribbon design with central knot and foliate decoration below, the shaped uprights with carved designs, the seats with red faux leather and brass studwork all in good condition.
The carved and shaped seat rails with foliate carving to the centre supported on carved cabriole legs to the front with acanthus carved decoration to the knee and foliate scroll foot with outswept legs to the back.
This wonderful set of twelve single chairs have been matched with a pair of armchairs also from an original design from Chippendale’s ‘Director’, the design for each of these chairs featured next to each other on the same page.
The pair of armchairs each consist of a shaped top rail and uprights with foliate decoration and central carved ribbon design with further trailing ribbon and foliate decoration.
The shaped arms and arm supports with foliate carved decoration, the red leather seats to complement the set of twelve.
The shaped and carved seat rail with foliate carving supported on carved cabriole legs to the front with acanthus carving and scroll decoration with outswept legs to the back.
Reference: a quote from the book ‘Chippendale’ by Nathanial Harris:
‘Chippendale’s most extravagant, luxurious Rococo pieces were the ‘ribband back’ chairs in which the splat was transformed into a profusion of knotted and interlaced ribbons which trailed from side to side as well as from top to bottom, linking the uprights as well as the top rail and the seat. The legs and seat rails also richly carved…clients were recommended to cover the seats with red Morocco.’ Chippendale was immensely proud of these chairs and claimed they were ’if I may speak with vanity…the best I have ever seen(or perhaps have ever been made)’.’
The fourteen chairs are all in very good condition for age, are all of stable construction and can go straight into a home or collection.
Height: 42” / 106.75cm
Width: 29” / 73.75cm
Depth: 25” / 63.5cm
Seat height: 19” / 48.25cm
Height: 40” / 101.5cm
Width: 25.25” / 64cm
Depth: 23” / 58.5cm
Seat height: 18.5” / 47cm