18th Century Chinese Chippendale Gainsborough library armchair


A good Chippendale period mahogany Gainsborough armchair circa 1760.

H 38 1/2’’ (98 cm)
W 27’’ (69 cm)
D 26 1/2’’ (67 cm)

BHA 1246

Contact the team


A good Chippendale-period mahogany Gainsborough armchair, circa 1760.

This is a very good example of an early George III Gainsborough library armchair in the sophisticated Chinese taste of the period.

With well-executed blind-fret carving to the square legs and arm supports.

 Note the unusual treatment of the gently-outswept padded arms. Furthermore there is subtle shaping to the top of the back.

The ‘H’ stretcher with pierced Gothick carving.

Professionally upholstered to a high standard and overstuffed in a neutral soft velvet, with float buttons and close nailed. Raised on old brass castors. Lovely, rich, old colour and patina. In excellent condition with a sturdy frame throughout.

These Georgian library armchairs are sometimes also known as Martha Washington chairs in the United States (a type of antique armchair made in England in the eighteenth century). The chair was very comfortable, generously proportioned, with an upholstered back and seat, open sides and short arms.


R.W. Symonds, The Present State of Old English Furniture (Duckworth) London, 1921. See ”A mahogany chair showing the influence of the fashionable Chinese taste in the legs and stretchers’’ fig. 89, col. N.

Ralph Edwards CBE FSA, Shorter Dictionary of English Furniture, Hamlyn (Fourth edition 1972) p.145, ill. 3, dated ca 1760.

Thomas Chippendale, The Gentleman and Cabinet-Maker’s Director (1753-62).