Painted carved 18th century armchair John Linnell

//Painted carved 18th century armchair John Linnell

Painted carved 18th century armchair John Linnell


A beautifully drawn 18th century English open armchair in the manner of John Linnell.

Height: 37 3/4″
Width: 24 1/2″
Depth: 25″
Ca: 1770


The carved and beautifully drawn frame of generous proportions with superbly shaped serpentine seat rails, indicative of a master chair-maker. In the manner of John Linnell.

Later painted, upholstered in green velvet.

Further reading:

A similar set of armchairs was supplied by Thomas Chippendale to Harewood House, Yorkshire.

Linnell (1729-1796), was in charge of one of London’s largest firms of cabinet-makers of the 18th century, with many important and prominent patrons. The Linnell firm was created in 1730 by William Linnell (c.1703–63), and was inherited by his son John in 1763. The firm moved from 8 Long Acre in St. Martin’s Lane, London, to 28 Berkeley Square in 1750.

[2] From 1763 John grew the business with great success. Linnell entered a partnership with Thomas Tatham (1763–1817). Tatham went on to be a partner at one of London’s fashionable cabinet-making and upholstery businesses with George Elward, Edward Bailey and Richard Saunders. They were principal cabinet-makers to George IV, and this firm worked at Carlton House and Buckingham Palace.[3]

Thomas Tatham and his brother Charles Heathcote Tatham were trained in drawing and design by John Linnell. Linnell introduced C.H. Tatham to Henry Holland who later funded his educational trip to Rome. When in Rome in 1796 Tatham learned of Linnell’s death, and wrote to Henry Holland – who had his home in Sloane Ave, Knightsbridge – that he was deeply upset by Linnell’s death. Upon his return to London he compiled a selection of 355 of John Linnell’s drawings and designs, which his brother Thomas Tatham had inherited. These drawings now survive at the V&A.

Literature: Ralph Edwards & Percy Macquoid, ‘The Dictionary of English Furniture’, revised edition, vol. I, London, 1954, p. 291, fig. 208.

Christopher Gilbert, ‘The Life and Work of Thomas Chippendale’, vol. II, London, 1978, p.111, illus. 190.

Lanto Synge, ‘Chairs’, London, 1978, pp. 38-9.

Lanto Synge, ‘Great English Furniture’, London, 1991, p.137.

Robert Adam (1728-1792): one of England’s most famous architects and interior designers. Architect to King George III (1761-1769).

Many of Adams drawings survive in Sir John Soane’s Museum, London.

Ref: Dr. Fran. Sands “Adam Drawings”.

 This antique Georgian armchair relates to one illustrated in R. Edwards and P. Maquoid, ‘The Dictionary of English Furniture’, rev’d ed., vol. I, London, 1954, p.290, fig. 203, which is part of a suite at Syon House, Middx., and which is thought to have been supplied to the Duke and Duchess of Northumberland by the London firm of Mayhew and Ince – who are known to have supplied furniture for the house. The Syon chairs share the same distinctive V-shaped cuts to the seat rails which are also an established feature of pieces from the workshop of Thomas Chippendale. It has been suggested that a key difference between the chairs produced by the two firms is that the arm rests on Mayhew and Ince chairs commonly join the front legs, whereas Chippendale’s join more typically at the side rails.

See related painted armchairs previously in Rossmore Castle, County Monaghan, Ireland.


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