Monday, October 28, 2013
Her Majesty's Furniture: The Wakefield Tapestry Chair, C. 1750
Part of an impressive suite which consisted of at least five armchairs and a sofa, this tapestry armchair was designed to show off the taste and wealth of the owner, and would probably have been displayed prominently in a drawing room or ornate reception room.
The suite was sold by Richard Wright and Edward Elwick of Wakefield, Yorkshire, who were working between 1745 and 1771--the pre-eminent firm of cabinet-makers and upholsterers in Yorkshire at that time. The chair's gilt frame is adorned with carved fish scales and acanthus leaves.
It was made for William Wentworth, 4th Earl of Strafford (1722-1791), for Wentworth Castle, Yorkshire. The Duchess of Northumberland wrote that she saw "French chairs emb'd [embroidered] with flowers upon Brown by the famous Mr Wright" upon a visit to Wentworth Castle in 1760.