Pair of Regency Ebonised and Gilt Antique Salon Chairs.
Extremely fine example of the sort of chair designed to be on display in a prominent room of a large and important house. These would have been in a large salon or drawing room, or a large entrance hall.
English circa 1815
06 15 06
These chairs are in excellent original condition and retain much of their original fabric. Although not in useable condition it could be matched or copied depending on requirement. The gilding is worn but original and the ebonising is in good condition. The squabs are made of the most expensive sort of white hair stuffing material. They are stitched in the pre-Victorian manner, with surface to side stitching instead of a stitched roll edge.
The design of these chairs is typical of the high fashion of the period. The classical revival had been very much in evidence for a while, but these chairs follow closely the form of the Klismos chair. The sabre shaped legs splay out from the seat to provide stability and the curve of the back supports echo the shape of the legs. The back rest is shaped to the curve of the back and is normally the correct height apon which to rest an elbow. The decorative element of animal feet at the base of the arm was also a very popular decorative device in classical Greek and Roman decorative arts, as well as Egyptian of course. At those early periods a chair of this form, or indeed any sort of chair was considered a sign of wealth. In fact, to own a chair (or back stool) was not commonplace for anyone except aristocracy until the 16th century in England. The Klismos was a form of chair depicted on archaeological finds from the then recent excavations of Greek ruins. This interest in Greek and Roman classical form in decorative arts and architecture was evident in aristocratic circles for a very long time. As well as having a purity of line and being proportionally accurate, the classical revival is also associated with a period of enlightenment and secular education with which the aristocracy would have wanted to be associated.
Klismos chairs were illustrated in Thomas Hope’s, Household Furniture and Interior Decoration (1807). He also had Klismos chairs after his own design in his museum-like house in Duchess Street in London. They were made for many important architectural and interior projects at the time, including many country houses such as the vast Packington Hall in Warwickshire.
There is more information about Klismos chairs here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Klismos
And Thomas Hope here https://en.wikipedia.org/…/Thomas_Hope_%281769%E2%80%931831…
Below are some photographs of the chairs in question as well as some examples of the Greek original. There is also a painting by Adam Buck depicting himself and family and what better way to show his wealth and classical knowledge than by including his Klismos chair in the painting.
64cm / 25″ deep max
51cm / 20″ deep inside seat
81cm / 32″ wide max
84cm / 33″ high max
41cm / 17″ high seat