The Good Taste Is Timeless
Furlow Gatewood, a self-taught antiques dealer and one of the most influential American decorators,
created a home that demonstrates the art of living well.
These remarkable Regency Klismos hall chairs, virtually identical to a pair we currently have in stock, were illustrated in a July 1992 issue of House & Garden magazine, in a feature on the historic Savannah house Furlow Gatewood co-owned with John Rosselli, another prominent American decorator and his friend for many years.
This rare and unusual fine pair of early Regency mahogany 'Klismos' hall chairs dates back toc. 1810 and can attributed to Gillows of Lancaster and London, one of England's best furniture makers of the 18th and 19th centuries.The chairs' unusual design was clearly inspired by the fashionable Grecian Revival motifs, widely adopted by the leading designers of the time, such as Thomas Hope, George Smith and Thomas Chippendale, the Younger.
Both chairs are stamped 'AD' to back seat rails, which most likely refers to the journeyman's initials; the same stamp appears on a fine pair of Regency armchairs, attributed to Gillows (Christies, 10 July 2003, London, Lot 83), further examples of dining chairs, supplied by Gillows to Hackwood House, bear similar stamps 'AI' and 'AP' (Christies, 20-22 April 1998, Hackwood House, Lot 158). However, Sotheby’s attributed four nearly identical chairs (Sotheby's, New York, October 16, 2009, Lot 80) to James Newton, 63 Wardour Street, London, based on the fact that the backs share close similarity to the trestle support of a mahogany sofa table bearing the cabinetmaker’s label.
The history of Gillows, from the early eighteenth century to the early twentieth, encapsulates the history of English furniture and its manufacture. Robert Gillow began making furniture around 1730, some 20 years before Thomas Chippendale, and developed first a national and then an international reputation as a supplier of quality furniture to the upper middle classes, the landed gentry, and the aristocracy. The company won commissions to furnish and decorate public buildings in Australia, South Africa, India, Russia, Germany, France and the U.S., and it also executed Pugin’s designs for London’s Palace of Westminster from 1840.