Dimensions: H: 44 in / 111 cm | W: 27 in / 69 cm | D: 24 in / 61 cmDescription
A Pair of Klismos Armchairs of Important Size
After a design by Thomas Hope
Constructed in a finely patinated Cuban mahogany, dressed with the carved Burnell family crest; rising from claw footed swept and lapetted legs, with sabre legs to the rear; the front arm supports of tapering columnar form, carved with stylised acanthus leaves; the arms reeded, conjoining the back rails which issue from magnificent carved ram’s heads, capped by rounded form scroll and acanthus carved toprails.
The present chairs are identical to an armchair in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (67.63.1) and its identical companion in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London (w.3-1967) . As suggested by Penelope Hunter at the Metropolitan, the armchairs most likely all belonged to a larger set. Some chairs include the signature of “C. Dixwell,” referring to Charles Dixwell. Dixwell was a London “upholder” who was apprenticed to the celebrated furniture maker George Seddon for seven years, and who is recorded to have subscribed to Sheraton's Drawing Book in 1793. His profession included the tasks of upholsterer, furniture repairman, and undertaker. It is likely Dixwell was involved in commissioning, upholstering, and selling the armchairs in the early 19th century.
The Metropolitan Museum credits Thomas Hope as the designer and maker of these striking armchairs. By the second quarter of the 19th century, Hope had cemented his reputation as a designer and interior decorator, and he was dubbed by his contemporaries as the “furniture man” among London’s aristocratic circles. These inventive chairs are a testament to the confidence and ingenuity characteristic of Hope’s mature designs.
Beard, Geoffrey, and Christopher Gilbert. Dictionary of English Furniture Makers, 1660-1840. Leeds: Furniture History Society, 1986.
Kirkham, Pat. The London Furniture Trade 1700-1870. London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 1988.
Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, N.Y.). The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Notable Acquisitions, 1965-1975. New York: The Museum, 1975, p.255 (illus.).
You may also like
A Ladies Dressing Table Made by the Goldsmiths & Silversmiths Co. of London for His Highness Nawab of Bahawalpur Sadiq Muhammad Abbasi V The Goldsmiths & Silversmiths Company Ltd
A Marquetry and Gilt Bronze Secretaire by Rogie after the original in the Wallace Collection Maison Rogie
A Royal Table Made by Morel & Seddon for Windsor Castle Morel & Seddon
A Fine Occasional Table attributed to Holland and Sons Holland & Sons
A George III Giltwood Pier Mirror In the Manner of Thomas Johnson
A Monumental Brèche Violette Fireplace In the Louis XV Manner