An important pair of early 19th century Regency carved mahogany library bergères, the reeded backs with padded arms and seats upholstered in close nailed well patinated red leather, the finely carved palmette enriched lion monopodium front supports on gilt-brass hairy paw feet and concealed brass castors.
The strong form of these handsome library chairs derives from engravings in a Collection of Designs for Household Furniture and Interior Decoration of 1808 by the celebrated Regency designer George Smith. Smith adapted both Roman and Greek designs to create bold and impressive furniture influenced by the French Empire style.
The front chair leg design can be seen to be adapted from that of a sofa table in plate 83 of Smith's designs. The monopodium was derived directly from Greek design having been used as supports for brazier's and altars and is perfectly adapted to these impressive masculine chairs.
Mr and Mrs Gerald Coke, Jenkyn Place, Hampshire until 1996.
Partridge Fine Arts, 4th December 2000.
Private collection, Somerset.
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