A set of eight George II walnut side chairs, circa 1730, possibly Irish, each shaped rectangular back with slender foliate carved surround and surmounted by a floral and foliate carved terminal, each herringbone banded vase splat above a drop in seat covered with an 18th century floral needlework panel , on acanthus carved cabriole legs joined by stretchers and terminating in carved lion paw feet Provenance: The property of the owners of the Downton Estate, Shropshire
The inscribed numbers to the seat rails of these chairs leads us to believe that this set could have been purchased from French & Co. New York, circa 1983. Comparative Literature: The Knight of Glin and Jame Peill, Irish Furniture, 2007
This distinctive set of George II walnut chairs exhibit an unusual combination of features which do not appear to be clearly identifiable with the work of a particular maker or regional origin. Whilst the idiosyncratic paw feet have affinities with those on a documented group of Irish tables and chairs (see Peill and Glin op. cit. pp. 106-119), the scrolls to the inside of their 'paws' are without parallel in this most recent survey of Irish furniture. Furthermore the turned and square H-shaped stretchers contrast with the more prevalent flat H-shaped stretchers found on Irish chairs of the second quarter of the 18th century. Other atypical details of the present lot's design are the herringbone bandings to the splats, the finely carved foliate mouldings surrounding the backs and the gadrooned splat shoes.
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