Pair of English George III mahogany Hall Chairs, in the manner of Mayhew and Ince,
Each with a carved oval fan back centered by a vacant medallion, above a solid serpentine-shaped saddle seat and seatrail, raised on roundel-headed square tapering and stop-fluted legs joined by an H-stretcher, back seatrails stamped with ‘SO’.
With their distinctive medallion-shaped fluted backs, the present hall chairs are designed in the George III ‘Roman’ fashion, introduced in the 1770’s and promoted by Robert Adam, James Wyatt, and other fashionable designers of the day. This design is found on a set of armorial chairs dating from the 1770’s and attributed to the leading London firm of Mayhew and Ince, sold Christie’s, 21 June 2004, lot 54.
Another related pair of hall chairs attributed to Mayhew and Ince, was almost certainly commissioned by George Brodrick, 4th Viscount Midleton (d. 1836) for Peper Harow, Sussex. Hall chairs of identical design and probably from the same workshop were formerly at Coombe Warren, Kingston Hill, London. A slightly more elaborate version, formerly in the possession of The Drapers Company in London, was by repute designed by Robert Adam.
For a further related pair, most likely from the same workshop, see Christie’s, 17 October 2003, Lot 273.
The partnership between William Ince and John Mayhew (circa 1758-1804) is one of the longest lived of any 18th century firm, and their reputation as makers of the finest furniture is equal in rank to that of Thomas Chippendale and William Vile. Some of their more notable projects include the furnishings of Croome Court for the 6th Earl of Coventry, the extensive refurbishing of Burghley House for the 9th Earl of Exeter, and the prestigious order of several residences for the 4th Duke of Marlborough, to whom the firm dedicated its 1759-63 volume The Universal System of Household Furniture.