A rare and unusual set of six mahogany 'Klismos' chairs of the Regency period, attributed to Gillows of Lancaster and London.
England, circa 1810.
Why we like them
Their highly unusual, superbly graphic profile with boldly scrolled legs, derives from the ancient Greek 'Klismos' chairs, often depicted on Attic pottery starting from circa 400BC. A very chic addition to an eclectic or modern interior.
The present chairs are virtually identical to those of a Longleat suite from Norton Hall, Northamptonshire, attributed to Gillows, sold Christie's London, 13 June 2002, lot 421 (£177,150). These chairs are illustrated in Mirabel Cecil, Mlinaric on Decoration, London 2008, pp. 292, photographed by Derry Moore in Sir Evelyn and Lady de Rothchild's Chelsea house, that David Mlinaric decorated in 2002–2007.
The chairs are designed in the early 19th century Grecian fashion with lyre-scrolled back hollowed for a roll cushion, while the frames are enriched with reeds and paterae. This form derives from a celebrated set designed by Henry Holland (d.1806), made by Elward, Marsh and Tatham for Samuel Whitbread at Southill, Bedfordshire, around 1800. (See Margaret Jourdain, Regency Furniture 1795-1820, London, 1948. fig. 7., p.61.). Chairs of related Grecian character were supplied by Henry Holland for the Prince Regent at Carlton House in 1794 and the Marine Pavilion, Brighton in 1802.
Set of Six Regency Klismos Chairs, attributed to Gillows
Height: 32.25 inches / 82 cm
Width: 18.25 inches / 47 cm
Depth: 22.25 inches / 56.5 cm
Seat height: 17.75 inches / 45 cm