The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Sofa
  • Sofa
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • After Francesco Casanova (1727 - 1802), (tapestry design)
    C.Mellier & Co., Manufacturer, (sofa frame)
  • England
  • 1872 - 1890 (sofa and armchair frames)
    c. 1788 (tapestries)
  • Limewood, carved and gilded, woven tapestry.
  • Object size: 100.5 x 188 x 64.5 cm
  • Stamp: 'LONDON. W C.MELLIER & C° CABINET MAKERS'
    Stamp: 'CABINET MAKERS'
  • F331
  • Reserve Gallery
Commentary
History
Further Reading
  • One of a set of a sofa and eight armchairs F331-F339.
    Sofa with Beauvais tapestry covers applied to an English nineteenth-century carved and gilt limewood frame in the Louis XVI style. The tapestries have no decorative framework and show scenes of a French regiment on the move.
    They come from the series 'Les Convois Militaires' which was first woven in 1786 but was revived under Napoleon for furnishing Saint-Cloud, and large numbers of covers to these designs were woven at Beauvais under the First Empire. Without any decorative framework, however, the tapestry covers on this sofa appear to date from the first weaving.
    The stamp of C.Mellier & Co. indicates that the frames of this set were made in London, presumably for Sir Richard Wallace between 1872-1890 when he had returned to live at Hertford House, in order to take the tapestry covers which had evidently been earlier applied to different frames with differently positioned arm supports. The similarity of the frames of these chairs (F331-9) with a set of armchairs dated c. 1785 in the Wallace Collection (F204-7) suggests that Wallace had the eighteenth-century chairs used as models. The similarity of the webbing on the two sets suggests that he may have had F204-7 reupholstered by C.Mellier & Co. at the same time.