George III mahogany library armchair c.1760

The highlight of Sotheby’s Ј3.1m sale of the contents of Fawley House in Oxfordshire on October 14-15 was this George III mahogany library armchair c.1760. Once a prized element of the Percival Griffiths’ collection of English furniture (it had been a chance discovery in the early decades of the 20th century by his dealer Robert Wemyss Symonds at the cost of Ј300), the chair is considered one of the best designs of the third quarter of the 18th century and is celebrated for its idiosyncratic elements though the maker remains unknown.

It had sold at Sotheby’s twice before: for Ј4400 in 1971 and for Ј3600 in 1974 when it entered the collection of the Hon. David McAlpine who was the vendor of the 703 lots at Fawley House.

Estimated at Ј150,000-200,000, the chair established a new record for a single English armchair when it was bought by an American collector for Ј340,000 (plus buyer’s premium).

Published in: on October 25, 2003 at 2:29 am  Leave a Comment  
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