Regency Mahogany Library Armchair, Attributed to Gillows
A fine and rare Regency period mahogany library bergere armchair of generous proportions, firmly attributed to Gillows of Lancaster and London,
England, circa 1820
The scrolled and buttoned padded back, within the scrolled arms, over a buttoned loose cushion, upholstered in tobacco leather, with scrolled and reeded lyre-shaped front, forming the seatrail and arm supports, the whole supported on turned and reeded legs back and front with brass caps and castors. The armchair still retains a pleasingly patinated yet very usable historic traditional upholstery; the mahogany showframe displays equally desirable patina.
Reflecting the Regency and George IV classical style encouraged by the publications of Thomas Hope (1769-1831), George Smith and others, this elegant library fireside armchair has a Grecian lyre-scrolled frame, evoking the poetry-diety Apollo. Related pair of 'bergere' chairs as described in Gillows' 1813 Memorandum were supplied to William Powlett, 2nd Baron Bolton (d. 1850), for Hackwood Park, Hampshire (sold Christie's House Sale, 20-22 April 1998, lot 55, - £84,000). Very rarely armchairs of this pattern have ornamental back legs, as on the present example and the Hackwood Park chairs; usually less sophisticated outswept square-cut supports are used.