Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Her Majesty's Furniture: An Eighteenth Century Needlework Chair

The Victoria & Albert Museum
This armchair of carved walnut and beech features magnificent Eighteenth-Century needlework covers. However, though the covers match the chair as far as date of creation, these are not the original covers. These were later adapted to fit the chair after having been removed from another similar piece. The reverse of the chair is lined with Twentieth Century damask.

The style of the chair was quite fashionable in France in the first half of the Eighteenth Century.

While the needlework on the seat and back is not original, it was applied correctly as it follows the convention that human figures should be represented only on the chair-back, while animals or birds could be shown on the seat. The back is adorned with a New Testament scene of Christ meeting the woman of Samaria. The covers were clearly made for a larger chair, but were cut in such a way that the integrity of the scene was not compromised.

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