English chair c1705 –10

Beech and walnut, upholstered in gilt and painted leather, close-nailed, 101.5 x 51.8 x 56.3cm
Accession Number LL4102

This is one of a set of seven chairs from Parham Park, Sussex, which retain their original upholstery and gilt leather covers, a very rare survival.

The Chinese theme of the painted decoration is also carried through to the seat frames. Such features as the ‘ears’ near the feet are inspired by Chinese furniture of the sort made for the home market. Very little of this was exported back to Europe at this period.

The shape of the back resembles a celebrated set of needlework-covered chairs at Canons Ashby, Northamptonshire, supplied in 1714 by the Royal upholsterer Thomas Phill. Phill also delivered an armchair (now lost) covered in ‘black Spanish Leather’ with a nailed border, which sounds comparable to the Parham chairs.