The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Armchair
  • Armchair
  • Attributed to William Kent (1685 - 1748) , Designer
  • Attributed to William Kent (1685 - 1748), Designer
  • England
  • c. 1730
    1959 (modern brown cotton)
  • Carved and gilt oak, beechwood, blue silk velvet, blue moire silk.
  • Object size: 96.3 x 62.1 x 62.5 cm
  • F462
  • West Room
Commentary
History
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Of the same model as four armchairs at Chatsworth House, it is believed that this chair was part of a set made to designs by the painter, architect and designer William Kent for the 3rd Earl of Burlington’s newly-built Chiswick House. Eight armchairs were inventoried in the Blue Velvet Room at Chiswick in 1770; they stood against the walls of the room, which were hung with landscape paintings and British portraits. The room also contained a desk, suggesting the room had a more private function, but no expense was spared with the carving and gilding of these chairs. The design is characteristic of the bold, sculptural forms employed by Kent on much of his furniture and reflects the ideas he assimilated from his visits to Italy.
    One of only a small number of English pieces of furniture in the Wallace Collection, it is not known when it was acquired but it was probably bought by Sir Richard Wallace between 1870 and 1872. It is likely that he thought it was Italian, dating from the sixteenth century, which is how it was described when Wallace exhibited it at Bethnal Green from 1872-5.