Part of a suite belonging to George IV
The Royal Collection
Image Courtesy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
This particular sofa is actually from a suite of fifty-six pieces, all of which were similar in design. The arms are adorned with the carved heads of the mythical leopards that supposedly drew Bacchus’s chariot. This was a popular theme in French furnishings at the time, and George was quick to make sure it was represented in his collection. The sofa is surmounted by a top rail that is carved with a shell—a symbol of Venus, the goddess of love. Other adornments, completing the decorative theme, are acanthus leaves (such as one would find in the Corinthian order of architecture), and palm leaves of triumph.