Nancy Lancaster Armchair
An extremely unusual early 19th century caned bergere armchair, monochrome black japanned and decorated in the Greek Revival taste with Greek key and scrolling volute motifs,
Possibly English or Irish, circa 1800.
Why we like it
This amazingly quirky and superbly decorative chair, proudly displaying its age, cought our eye immediately when we saw it, and that would have been more than enough to buy it. Can you imagine how thrilled we were to learn about it equally impressive provenance?
The doyenne of what was to become the 'English Country House' look, Nancy Lancaster (1897-1994) always had an exceptional eye for the witty and the unusual. The present chair, photographed in situ at her bedroom at the Coach House at Haseley Court near Oxford in the 1970's, is a wonderful example of her eccentric taste. With its rounded seat and five-leg pattern, it has a hint of Chinese export flavour to it, but its fine construction gives away a more sophisticated maker. A very rare and quirky chair with an equally remarkable pedigree.
Illustrated: Colefax & Fowler: The Best in English Interior Decorating by Chester Jones, 1989, p. 43.