Henry Eyles, 1851
Walnut, carved and inlaid, inset with a
Worcester porcelain plaque, with an
embroidered satin seat.
This and all images:
The Victoria & Albert Museum
The maker, Henry Eyles, made his living as an upholsterer in Bath and kept a shop-front at 31 Broad Street, London. Later, after 1851 he opened another location at 7 Margaret's Buildings. Shortly before the 1851 Great Exhibition, Eyles was eager to show off his skill and designed this chair for presentation. It was exhibited by Eyles in Class XXVI (Furniture) and was considered quite unconventional for the porcelain plaque with the image of Queen Victoria, and the delicately embroidered Royal Arms on the seat. Eyles’ reasoning was two-fold. He wished to demonstrate his creative abilities, and also pay tribute to the monarch. Here, he has succeeded on both counts.