THE forerunners of their kind may have been a relatively humble form of seating, but, as two lots in the recent English furniture sales showed, it wasn’t long before the Windsor chair began to branch out.
Far from being modest and solely practical, the George III
armchairs at Sotheby's (20/12% buyer's premium)
Important English Furniture sale on June 30 were exceptionally
Of Gothic inspiration with elegant tracery backs and pierced
crocketed angles, the chairs were constructed from Scottish
laburnum, a timber highly prized for cabinet making North of the
Part of a six lot consignment of furniture that had been at Kier
House, Perthshire until 1983 (after which they had left the house
but remained in the family), they remind us that in the 18th
century Windsor armchairs could be situated in the most esteemed
Sotheby's reasonably bullish £60,000-80,000 estimate proved
pretty accurate, the hammer falling at £62,000 to the London
The pair of Windsors at Christie's (19.5/12% buyer's premium)
Important English Furniture sale on July 1 were interesting
armorial decorated pieces from a known set thought to have been
made for Enmore Castle and marking the marriage of John Perceval,
second Earl of Egmont to his second wife Catherine Crompton in
An identical chair is held in the V&A and last year one
appeared chair at Brightwell's of Leominster, selling for £19,000 -
see story here.
These chairs, with their faceted spindles in the back, appear to
be have been made in the West Country, possibly Bristol. The
spindles seem to have been cut with a draw knife rather than turned
on a lathe. It is most likely that they were made from beech,
walnut and elm, although the use of sycamore was not uncommon in
West Country chairs of this period. One leg and one stretcher have
been replaced to one of the pair.
Estimated at £15,000-25,000, the pair at Christie's sold on low
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