Ebonised, gilt and polychrome side chair in the manner of Christopher Dresser – £3100 at Smiths of Newent.

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It is likely to have been among the Aesthetic movement chair designs created in the 1870s by Christopher Dresser for the Art Furnishers Alliance, the association of progressive home decorators he helped establish in 1880.

George Hayter Chubb of furniture manufacturer Chubb & Co was appointed as chairman of the project that operated for only a few years from Queen Street in London before going into liquidation. The remaining stock was then either advertised by Chubb & Co or sold off at auction.

Dresser borrowed extensively from a range of ‘exotic’ sources to create his designs; this chair with its stylised palmettes and foliage reflecting his interest in Egyptian motifs as well as botanical forms. Its significance was recognised on January 7 with a winning bid of £3100, way above the £60-100 estimate.

Alliance attribution


Ebonised and gilt side chairs in the manner of Dresser – £3000 at Kinghams.

A similar pair of ebonised and gilt chairs with a ‘Christopher Dresser for the Art Furnishers Alliance’ attribution was offered for sale at Kinghams (23% buyer’s premium) on December 10 in Moreton-in-Marsh.

Similar to chairs sold by The Fine Art Society as part of the John Scott collection, the pair was bought by a UK trade buyer at £3000.