The chairs retain all their original rails, but the leather castors have been replaced. Each chair is marked ‘WF’ to the underside, referring to an apprentice in Grendey’s workshop. The practice of marking with initials to distinguish between workmen is a common feature with Grendey seat furniture. Originally part of a larger set, a suite of eight chairs was mentioned as being in the Drawing Room at Ettington Park in the probate inventory of 1882. When Ettington Park was sold in 1946, a set of ten chairs was sold from the house. Chairs of this model, and probably from the same original set, have enriched some of the most important collections formed in the last century, including those of Percival D. Griffiths, Henry Hirsch and the Hon. Sir John Ward, KCVO.
Literature: Percy Macquoid, ‘A History of English Furniture’, vol. III, ‘The Age of Mahogany’, 1906, pp. 122-3, figs 104-5. Herbert Cescinsky, ‘English Furniture of the Eighteenth Century’, vol. II, 1910, p. 86, fig. 82; a chair from the set. Herbert Cescinsky, ‘The Collection of the Hon. Sir John Ward, KCVO’, ‘Connoisseur’, March 1921, p. 142, fig. 5. R. W. Symonds, ‘English Furniture from Charles II to George II’, 1929, p. 155, fig. 102; a chair from the set, formerly in the Percival D. Griffiths Collection. Christie, Mason & Woods, ‘English and French Furniture, The Property of Henry Hirsch’, London, 22 March 1934, p. 18, lot 84. ‘Antique Collector’, August 1953, p. Xvii, advertisement; a pair from the same set, with Charles Lumb & Sons Ltd., Harrogate, England. Geoffrey Beard and Christopher Gilbert, ‘The Dictionary of English Furniture Makers 1660-1840’, 1986, pp. 371-2.
The Hon. George Shirley, Ettington Park, Warwickshire, England, until 1947; Private collection, USA.
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