Saturday, November 23, 2013

Her Majesty’s Furniture: The Prince Albert Chair, 1851

The Prince Albert Chair
English, 1851
The Victoria & Albert Museum

Prince Albert’s role in the Great Exhibition of 1851 cannot be discounted. This chair commemorates the Prince Consort’s leadership. This large armchair of carved and inlaid walnut with its painted porcelain plaque and arms and seat covered in fringed pink cotton velvet was designed as a companion to a light, feminine chair representing the Queen.

The porcelain plaque depicts the Prince Consort and serves as a reminder of his tireless work in the planning the Great Exhibition. Further homage to the Prince comes from carved emblems such as the lion, rose, shamrock and thistle on the back of the chair.

This is the work of Henry Eyles who displayed the chair with other examples of his work in Class XXVI (Furniture). Eyles was an upholsterer in Bath with premises at 31 Broad Street whose work was received favorable by the Queen and her consort.

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