An elegant Regency period ebonised and brass mounted ‘Roman’ spoon-back low or slipper chair, circa 1810.
The padded arched spoon back over upholstered seat with brass embellished seat rails, raised on turned tapering supports at the front and sabre back legs, on brass caps and castors.
Early 19th century’s fashion for Greek and Roman ‘Antique’ style in furniture and interior decoration was highly influenced by the aesthetic of Thomas Hope and the publication of the guide to his Duchess Street mansion entitled ‘Household Furniture and Interior Decoration’, in 1807. The distinctive scoop-form of this chair derives from Hope’s drawing, pl. XXVI. This pattern was described as ‘Roman’ in The London Chair-Makers’ and Carvers’ Book of Prices Supplement, 1808 (pl.1) and is illustrated in Regency Furniture Frances Collard, 1985 pg. 106.
A related pair of ‘Shell chairs richly inlaid with ebony in antique ornaments’ were invoiced in 1806 by Messrs. Morel and Hughes for the library at Weston Park, Staffordshire (P. Rogers, ‘A Regency Interior: The Remodelling of Weston Park’, Furniture History, 1987, fig. 3).
For a closely related open armchair possibly from the same workshop, featuring the same legs and castors, and similarly embellished seat rails, see Christie’s, New York, 14 October 2004, lot 100.