Regency Egyptian Revival style settee by Thomas Hope

Armchairs (pair) and settee, Regency Egyptian Revival style, ebonised and gilt beech and oak, original and reproduction bronze and gilt brass mounts, reproduction silk damask and trimmings, designed by Thomas Hope (1769-1831), unknown maker, England, around 1802

This pair of armchairs and settee in the Egyptian Revival style were designed by the English Regency designer, Thomas Hope, as part of the furnishings for the Egyptian room of his grand Robert Adam-designed residence in Duchess Street, ...

Summary

87/592
Settee, ebonised finish, gilded detailing, and green reproduction upholstery. The seat is backless and finished at each end with a low oak box. It is supported on four short, flat, tapered, oak legs with gilded scrolled lotus capitals, the lower section of each of escutcheon shape with inset gilded panel and bronze scarab mount. The rectangular beech carcase is edged with inset gilded rosettes. The box terminals are decorated on the outer facing sides with inset gilded panels and bronze mounts. They depict Anubis and Horus crouched around a lotus. An ormolu scarab is set to each box end. Each box is topped with two reproduction, seated bronze lions. The central, drop-in cushion is a flat, rectangular shape, stuffed with original horsehair and covered with a modern blue-green damask decorated with two bands of gold foliage (a reproduction Napoleonic fabric c. 1802, hand woven and dyed by Prel of Lyon, France, and based on a c. 1805 documentary sample from the Prel archive). A wide band of the same blue-green fabric is pleated and extended from under the cushion, over the terminal boxes, and down the sides of the chair. This fabric is edged with black and gold reproduction tassels.

Dimensions

1676 mm
610 mm
660 mm

Production

Thomas Hope (1769-1831) born in Holland, the son of a rich banking family of Scottish origin, he settled in England c. 1796 and became an influential patron of the arts, the arbiter elegantuarum of regency England and a highly original furniture designer. He had spent eight years travelling in Greece and the Eastern Mediterranean where he acquired a passion for Greek art and architecture, and he continued to travel widely after he settled in England, keeping abreast of artistic developments in Rome and Paris. He began to design furniture in order to provide himself with a suitable background for his collection of classical and neo-classical statuary and objets d'art. His archaeological inclinations led him to copy ancient furniture more closely than had been attempted before. Hope is best known for his work in the Egyptian taste, inspired by V. Denon's "Voyage dans la basse et la haute Egypte" (1802). Hope published his designs as "Household Furniture and Interior Decoration" (1807)".

The settee was originally designed to be part of the furnishings for the Egyptian Room in Thomas Hope's house in Duchess Street, Portland Place, London. The first floor, which included the Egyptian room, was to be opened "museum-like" to the public. The settee and its placement within the room are illustrated in Thomas Hope's book "Household Furniture and Interior Decoration" (1807) plate VIII.

Clive Wainwright, the furniture curator at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, argues that the suite was certainly made in London.
Hope, Thomas c. 1802

History

The settee was used in the Egyptian Room of Thomas Hope's house in Duchess Street, Portland Place, London. It was illustrated in his (1807) "Household Furniture and Decoration" which was intended not only to record the house, but to instruct and reform.

Following Thomas Hope's death in 1831 the settee was used at the Hope country estate Deepdene in Surrey, England. From 1924 until the early 1940s, the armchairs were used at Lenna, a grand house in Hobart, Tasmania, which was owned by Sir Alfred Ashbolt. Anne Watson,'Recent acquisitions by the Powerhouse Museum', "Australian Antique Collector(No 43), July - Dec 1994, p 26

The settee was designed by Thomas Hope in about 1804 for use in the Egyptian Room of his house in Duchess Street, Portland Place, London. Upon his death in 1831 his son sold the Duchess Street house for demolition and the furniture was moved to the Hope's country estate Deepdene, Surrey, England. The settee remained there until 1917 when the contents were auctioned.

Subsequent research has revealed that the chairs and settee (87/592) were photographed in 1924 in Hobart, Tasmania, in a house called "Lenna". They had been brought to Hobart that year by Sir Alfred Ashbolt (1870-1930), a businessman returning from a term in London (1919-24) as agent-general for Tasmania. As the furniture had been sold from the Hope estate in 1917 to a London antique dealer, it is tempting to speculate that Sir Alfred bought it directly from this source. Following Sir Alfred's death in 1930 his wife and two children moved to Melbourne in the early 1940s, selling much of their furniture, including the Hope pieces, at auction. It is at this stage that we lose track of their ownership. Anne Watson, 'Recent acquisitions by the Powerhouse Museum', "Australian Antique Collector" (No.43), July - Dec 1994, p26.
Hope, Thomas

Source

Purchased with the funds donated by the Patrons of the Powerhouse, 1987 Bronze lions reproduced courtesy of Lord Faringdon, Buscot Park, England The assistance of George Levy, H Blairman & sons, London is gratefully acknowledged

Cite this Object

Regency Egyptian Revival style settee by Thomas Hope 2016, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 29 March 2017, <https://ma.as/76726>
{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/76726 |title=Regency Egyptian Revival style settee by Thomas Hope |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=29 March 2017 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}
Full description  
This object is currently on display in Icons: From the MAAS Collection at the Powerhouse Museum
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