Walnut Single And Armchair

1680-5.

Capt. The Hon. Richard I cgh.

padded cushions on seat and back, could hardly7 have been used at all for the purpose which their name implies. They are rare pieces, at the present day, but this scarcity may be due to one or two causes, or possibly7 to both. They could not have been made in the same numbers as the chairs which they7 copy7, for reasons which are obvious, and the constructional defects inherent in a couch designed in this manner must have been responsible for frequent breakages

Fig. 316. WALNUT CHAIR.

A type which bridges the Jacobean and Orange period.

Fig. 316. WALNUT CHAIR.

A type which bridges the Jacobean and Orange period.

Messrs. Gregory and Co.

WALNUT CHAIR.

The tall back which is typical of the period 1685-9.

WALNUT CHAIR.

The tall back which is typical of the period 1685-9.

and, in many instances, for their destruction as worthless pieces of furniture, especially during that dark period of the nineteenth century, when anything in the way of furniture possessing grace in line or detail appears to have been anathema to the designer.

Of these Restoration day-beds, those which copy the earlier chair models, such as Fig. 308, where twist turning is employed for the legs and balusters of the back (and which, presumably, are prior to those where the Flemish motives are introduced), are rarely of fine quality. The necessary suppression

Fig. 318. WALNUT ARM-CHAIR.

With turning of Portuguese influence and flattened "bun " feet.

1690-5. M.ssrs. Gregory and Co.

WALNUT CHAIR.

The earlier logical construction persisting to a later date. c. 1690.

  1. Gill and Reigate.
  2. 318. WALNUT ARM-CHAIR.

With turning of Portuguese influence and flattened "bun " feet.

1690-5. M.ssrs. Gregory and Co.

WALNUT CHAIR.

The earlier logical construction persisting to a later date. c. 1690.

Messrs. Gill and Reigate.

of constructional knowledge, at the dictates of an absurd fashion, which the contortion of the back of this example must have demanded, probably militated largely against the chair-maker taking a sympathetic interest in such productions.

Figs. 309 and 310 show an interesting example of these day-beds- rare also by reason of its great depth of seat and width of back, measuring nearly three feet across,- which was recently bought from Gwydir Castle, that nobleman's seat so charmingly situated on the banks of the Conway river. Although actually a Restoration piece, it possesses few of the really typical details of the Charles II period, other than in the logical framing of the back. That the Flemish curve is a novel motive of this date is suggested by its use everywhere, on legs, stretchers, and back framings. Although not of the finest quality, the general design, especially that of the back, is good in line and proportion. The difficulty of the abruptly-sloping back, without adequate support, has here been shirked by fitting it, at the base, with metal pegs, which are socketed into the seat framing,—an evident confession of failure.

Mention has already been made of the difference, in the construction of chair backs, between tenoning the cresting rail between the side balusters, and dowelling it on. The former is as good as the latter method is bad. The chairs of the short reign of James II differ from those of the Charles II period in this constructional detail, more

Fig. 319. WALNUT SETTEE.

Showing the square-sectioned or " thermed " type of " bun " feet.

Fig. 319. WALNUT SETTEE.

Showing the square-sectioned or " thermed " type of " bun " feet.

than in any other. Backs become taller, and seats narrower, as a rule, and there is an ever-growing tendency to use the turned baluster and the Flemish curve and ("-scroll, and although these are general indications of later date, they are by no means infallible. Many chairs were made, before 16S5, where the backs were disproportionately tall and the seats very narrow, and where a lavish use was made of the Flemish curves. After 1685 some chairs have low backs and broad seats, but in this dowelling on, instead of tenoning between balusters of the back crestings, we have an almost certain indication of a period subsequent to 1685. It will be as well to bear this in mind, as in some of the examples

WALNUT CHAIR.

Height, 3 ft. Si ins. ; width, 1 ft. 5 ins. ; to seat, 1 ft. ins. The crude, or so-called provincial type. c. 1690.

Fig. 320. WALNUT CHAIR.

The aristocratic type of 16S5-89.

Frank Green, Esq.

WALNUT CHAIR.

Height, 3 ft. Si ins. ; width, 1 ft. 5 ins. ; to seat, 1 ft. ins. The crude, or so-called provincial type. c. 1690.

to be shown here, this is the only detail which establishes an early date for one, and a later period for another. Fig. 311, as an instance of this, is a typical James II chair in even-respect, with the sole exception of the cresting fixed between the squares of the balusters. The Flemish double-scrolled curve is used

Fig. 323. WALNUT ARM-CHAIR.

One of a pair. Date about 16S5.

Fig. 323. WALNUT ARM-CHAIR.

One of a pair. Date about 16S5.

Fig. 322. WALNUT ARM-CHAIR.

4 ft. S ins., floor to top of back. 1 ft. iol ins., width across front of seat. Date about 16SS.

  1. H. F. Kinderman, Esq.
  2. 322. WALNUT ARM-CHAIR.

4 ft. S ins., floor to top of back. 1 ft. iol ins., width across front of seat. Date about 16SS.

everywhere, and vase-turning of legs and rails has superseded the former twisting. That this chair dates between 16S0 and i6St is unquestionable ; it cannot be earlier than the first nor later than the second. It has, also, not the jumble of details which a later copy-

(made as a spontaneous creation and not as a deliberate imitation) would, almost certainly, have possessed. It is a fine chair, well designed and logically constructed.

There is, of course, a strong probability that main' chair-makers may have refused to adopt this method of dowelling on a back-cresting. Thus Fig. 312 has the earlj' style of back as far as this constructional method is concerned, but the seat-frame is no longer fixed betw een the projecting squares of the front legs, as in Fig. 300, but is spiked on them, the legs being turned without squares and with a pin at the top to secure the frame of the seat. That this is bad construction is unquestionable ; a chair has not only to support the weight of a sitter ; it must also withstand the lateral strain on seat and back which is exercised when a person braces himself, as in the act, for example, of pushing the

Fig. 324. WALNUT ARM-CHAIR.

Fig. 325. WALNUT ARM-CHAIR.

Bond's Hospital, Coventry.

Fig. 324. WALNUT ARM-CHAIR.

c. 1690.

  1. Gregory and Co.
  2. 325. WALNUT ARM-CHAIR.

Bond's Hospital, Coventry.

chair back while sitting in it, or in tilting the front legs from the floor. How great this strain is, especially when the back feet stand firmly, only a maker of chairs really appreciates. It would be fatal to one constructed in the manner of Fig. 312, and it will be noticed, when examining these James II chairs, that they- have, almost invariably, been repaired, not on one, but on many occasions. They are examples of constructive principles sacrificed to design.

Very effective use was made of the Flemish C-scroll after about 1680, as in the arm and small chairs from Lyme Park, Figs. 313 and 314, two fine examples, of high quality and choice designing, of the last Restoration years. The present stamped velvet, with which they are upholstered, is a mid-nineteenth-century addition. Fig. 315 shows the original finish of seat and back, and the lavish use of the C-scroll. The front stretcher of this chair introduces another foreign detail, that of the Dutch-Spanish bow, which we shall see further elaborated at a later stage. Fig. 316 has this bowed stretcher, in developed form, together with the ornate back which was becoming fashionable at the close of the reign of James II. The scrolled front legs of this chair are in the true Dutch manner of 1690 (which is about its date) used in conjunction with the earlier C-scrolling, a rnotiv« which was afterwards modified and adopted by Thomas Chippendale, and became the designbasis of his Rococo manner.

How To Sell Furniture

How To Sell Furniture

Types Of Furniture To Sell. There are many types of products you can sell. You just need to determine who your target market is and what specific item they want. Or you could sell a couple different ones in a package deal.

Get My Free Ebook


Post a comment