Chair, ‘Klismos’, painted wood / fabric, Greek revivial style, unknown designer and maker, England, c. 1817 Plus upholstery piece, printed velvet, circa 1870

Made in England, 1815-1820.

This chair, which may have been made by Thomas Chippendale the younger, is one of a set made for the earl of Harewood’s ‘Etruscan’ entrance hall at Harewood House in England. Its design, popular during the Regency period, is based on classical Greek ‘klismos’ chairs.

The sweeping curve of the chair back was built up from laminated timber sections, painted to simulate rosewood and then embellished with gold-painted decoration.

Summary

93/271/1
Chair, 'Klismos', painted wood / fabric, Greek revivial style, unknown designer and maker, England, c. 1817. Plus upholstery piece, printed velvet, circa 1870

(-1) Chair, Regency period, Greek revival style, of wood painted to simulate rosewood and decorated with painted anthemions and lines, fitted with a padded seat (the upholstery fabric is not original). The design of the chair is based on the classical Greek 'klismos' chair of similar form, with a prominent U-shaped sloping back raised on slender uprights, a large D-shaped padded seat above a narrow rail, and curved and tapering sabre legs. The wooden surfaces feature an imitation rosewood painted finish (deep reddish brown with black painted grain, over linene and gesso) which is lightly enhanced with classical motifs in opaque gold yellow paint (imitating gilt): the form of the chair is accentuated with painted lines with a twin line border on the curved back and line borders on the slender uprights, seat rail and sabre legs ; the curving back features a central lozenge enclosing a circular floral motif and flanked by athemia ; the straight front rail features quatrefoil stars in corner squares with athemia issuing towards the centre and two bell-flower buds trailing from the top of each leg. The flat padded seat is upholstered in wool fabric of deep terracotta colour edged with a Greek key pattern border woven in gold. (Note: This upholstery is not original)
(-2) Upholstery piece, removed from Klismos chair by vendor in the 1980s. Printed velvet of mustard brown colour, floral design with various flowers emerging from a twisted vine, irregular semi-circular shape cut to fit shape of seat, uneven edges. Not original. (received 22 Oct. 1993 rec 5980 and added to chair accession.

Dimensions

827 mm
575 mm
690 mm

Production

Unknown designer / maker. Originally thought to be by Thomas Chippendale the Younger (1749-1822) but this attribution has been discredited.

Unknown designer / maker. Originally thought to be by Thomas Chippendale the Younger (1749-1822) but this attribution has been discredited.

Circa 1817
1815-1820

History

The chair made for the Earl of Harewood for the Etruscan entrance hall at Harewood House in Yorkshire, England, circa 1817.
Bradshaw, Bill

Source

Purchased 1993
15 July, 1993

Cite this Object

Chair, 'Klismos', painted wood / fabric, Greek revivial style, unknown designer and maker, England, c. 1817 Plus upholstery piece, printed velvet, circa 1870 2017, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 19 November 2017, <https://ma.as/132863>
{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/132863 |title=Chair, 'Klismos', painted wood / fabric, Greek revivial style, unknown designer and maker, England, c. 1817 Plus upholstery piece, printed velvet, circa 1870 |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=19 November 2017 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}
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