Collection / Seating Furniture


A Splendid Gothic Revival Armchair Of the Regency Period By Gillows of Lancaster

A Splendid Gothic Revival Armchair Of the Regency Period By Gillows of Lancaster

Dimensions: H: 37.5 in / 95 cm  |  W: 30 in / 76 cm  |  D: 37 in / 94 cm


A Splendid Gothic Revival Armchair Of the Regency Period
By Gillows of Lancaster

Designed by William Porden
for Eaton Hall, Cheshire

The finish parcel gilded and painted throughout, the chair stands on four legs, each wrapped with carved acanthus leaves, and the lower section consisting of five blind cusped ogee arches; above, the seat frame with a blind trefoil and quatrefoil design, with corner rosettes adorned with embedded lozenges, issuing the arm terminals of conforming hexagonal shape, consisting of three tiers each set with blind cusped ogee arches and topped by a foliate boss.
English, circa 1812-14

Comparative Literature:

Christopher Payne. British Furniture 1820 to 1920 : The Luxury Market. ACC Art Books, 2023, pp. 52-53, for a discussion of Eaton Hall’s furnishings and a bed designed by William Porden previously with Butchoff Antiques, fig. 1.59.

An in-depth discussion on the chair’s history, design, and significance in relation to Eaton Hall, written and compiled by Dr Peter Lindfield, available for consultation.

Eaton Hall, famous for its opulent gothic revival style, is discussed in G. Acloque and J. Cornforth's article "The Eternal Gothic of Eaton" in Country Life magazine (1971). The Buckler print is also included in F. Collard's Regency Furniture (p. 172). Architect William Porden commenced work on Eaton Hall in 1803, with likely completion by 1826.

The bergere chair is featured in decorator David Hicks' scrapbooks and his son Ashley Hicks' book David Hicks Scrapbooks. A colour photograph of the chair first appeared in a 1954 House and Garden magazine article, playing a significant role in launching David Hicks' career.

David Hicks, renowned for his unique and bold decorating style, began his career at 22 South Eaton Place in London. His unconventional use of colours and theatrical design approach set him apart from the more traditional country house aesthetics promoted by John Fowler.

The completion of the South Eaton Place project garnered attention, particularly from Peter Coats, the gardening editor of House and Garden magazine. Coats arranged for the house to be photographed and enthusiastically recommended Hicks to his friends, marking the start of Hicks' successful career. Hicks attracted notable clients like Mrs. Rex Benson and Mrs. Douglas Fairbanks Jr., further solidifying his reputation as a talented interior decorator.

A nearly identical chair, upholstered in leather instead of fabric, is featured in Frances Collard's book Regency Furniture (1985, p. 175), offered by Temple Williams. These chairs are undoubtedly related to the armchairs depicted in J.C. Buckler's prints of Eaton Hall's Drawing Room in 1826.

REF No. 9950

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