Ebonised Greek-Revival Library Chair
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About this piece
The ebonised frame with pierced spoonback decorated above a caned seat with squab cushion covered in black velvet, on sabre legs, square brass caps and castors
England, circa 1805
The simplicity of the sabre legs and spoonback shape is typical of the archaeological revivalist style of the Regency period, where the forms of ancient Greece and Rome (and Eygpt) were mined for inspiration, often from source. This created a more academic and bolder, eclectic style, as opposed to more restrained neo-classicism of the Georgian past.
Leaders of Regency taste, such as Thomas Hope, whose detailed knowledge of Antiquity was drawn from his extensive travels and personal collections, are important not so much in that their ideas were ever actually made but in the fact that they were widely copied by the furniture makers of the period. Hope’s vision blended ancient with modern, an objective perfectly captured in the dynamic profile of the spoonback, the composition reminiscent of the stylised profile of the facial openings of the Corinthian Helmet, a visual reference the designer would undoubtedly been aware of, inferring all kinds of latent martial and classical subtext.
By the first decade of the 19th century elements such as the sabre leg, inspired directly by the Ancient Greek Klismos chair, had been completely absorbed into English Regency design, illustrated in the London Chair maker’s guide and carvers book of prices1829, and would have appeared dated by the late 1830’s.
H 86.5cm x W 56cm x D 69cm
H 34" x W 22" x D 27"
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