H: 36 in / 90 cm | W: 32 in / 80 cm | D: 24 in / 60 cmDescription
A Mahogany Reading Chair
After a design by Thomas Sheraton
Of most striking design, the mahogany chair with its original leather upholstery having castor-shod tapering and turned front legs with sabre legs to the rear, the bowfront seat cushioned and having an inclined back, the padded arms of horseshoe design and incorporating a concealed swinging drawer for writing equipment, the hinged reading book rest inset with gilt-tooled leather.
This type of chair is illustrated in Thomas Sheraton’s “The cabinet-maker and upholsterer's drawing-book” of 1803. Sheraton comments on the design saying the chair was intended “to make the exercise (of reading) easy, and for the convenience of taking down a note or quotation from any subject.”
This particular design was made as early as the first quarter of the 18th century and was custom-made for handful of clients throughout the 18th- and 19th-centuries by firms such as Gillows and Marsh & Tatham. An early example is in the Victoria & Albert Museum (W.47:1-1948), while a model of similar age to the Butchoff example is in the Royal Collection (RCIN 45104). A similar chair can be seen in the library at Tatton Park, in Cheshire, most likely supplied by Gillows.
Sheraton, Thomas. The Cabinet-Maker and Upholsterer's Drawing-Book. London: Printed for the author, by T. Bensley; and sold by J. Mathews, No 18, Strand; G. Terry, No 54, Paternoster-Row; and J.S. Jordan, No 166, Fleet-Street, 1803, plate 5.