Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Her Majesty's Furniture: Pugin's Eaton Hall Chair, 1823

from Eaton Hall
A. Pugin, 1823
This photo shows the replicated original upholstery.
The Victoria & Albert Museum

This magnificent chair is the work of Augustus Charles Pugin, painter, architect and father of A.W.N. Pugin (famous for his work on the Palace of Westminster).  The chair is covered in a contemporary red and gold upholstery which was made based on the pattern of the original scheme, using fragments of what remained and referring to illustrations of the chair made by John Buckler.  This new covering replaced a drab Twentieth Century upholstery (see picture below).

Buckler had drawn the chair when he was commissioned to create paintings which would record the newly decorated interiors of Eaton Hall in 1826.  This chair was one of a pair which was used in the drawing room of Eaton Hall in Cheshire, the home of Robert, Second Earl Grosvenor.  Lord Grosvenor was so enamored of this chair and its mate that he commissioned smaller copies to be made for use in Eaton Hall’s dining room.  The simplified set was covered in blue leather to match the blue and gold brocade draperies in the room.

This chair and its mate (and copies) was crafted of carved and gilded mahogany set with pierced gothic tracery and panels of carved and gilded gothic foliage.  They were made in Lancaster by Gillow & Co. based on Pugin’s designs, circa 1823.

Here we see the upholstery which was replaced.

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