Description & Technical information


These chairs are similar to a group of armchairs with vase-capped bulstar splats which probably formed part of a larger set, one from the Collection of Professor Sir Albert Richardson, P.R.A., sold Christie's London 18-19 September, lot 31 (£32,500) and another sold Christie's London, 22 April 2004, lot 29 (£45,410). These chairs are based on the designs of the Windsor chair and are related to a 1750's pattern executed by Richard Hewett at Slough, (see N. Goyne Evans, 'A History and Background of English Windsor Furniture', Furniture History, 1979, pp 24-53, pl. 84), although he is unlikely their enigmatic maker. A closely related set of fine mahogany armchairs, conceived by the same maker, line the marble hall at Holkham Hall, the Norfolk seat of the Earls of Leicester. A further pair of related George II mahogany armchairs was sold, Sotheby's New York, 11 & 12 April 1997, lot 751 ($46,000).

When he died at the age of 101, David Rockefeller was the world's eldest billionaire, and the youngest surviving grandchild of America's first billionaire, John D. Rockefeller; the great industrialist tycoon who founded the Standard Oil company in the 19th century, subsequently building him an unrivalled fortune that made him one of the most influential men in American history. 

David Rockefeller (1915-2017) is remembered as one of the United States most engaged and influential civic leaders. He was a banker and philanthropist who controlled Chase Manhattan Bank for over a decade, and was instrumental in rallying the private sector to help resolve New York City's financial crisis in the 1970s. As Chairman of the New York City Partnership, he also fostered innovation in public schools and the development of thousands of apartments for lower-income families. Furthermore, as chairman of the Museum of Modern Art for many years, he led an effort to encourage corporations to buy and display art in their buildings to help subsidise local museums. 
He married his wife Peggy in 1940, and for more than half a century, they were partners in family, philanthropy and art, until her death in 1996. They collected masterpieces across countless categories, from English and American furniture, 19th and 20th century European and American paintings, European porcelain, Native American art, silver, textiles and folk art; a staggering collection, unrivalled in its depth and breadth. 

Date:  circa 1750
Period:  George II
Origin:  English
Medium: Mahogany
Dimensions: 94 x 74 x 46 cm (37 x 29¹/₈ x 18¹/₈ inches)
Provenance: The Collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller

These chairs share similar constructional characteristics with provincial Windsor chairs, including turned spindles and solid seats. However, here the use of finest mahogany, couples with the high quality of construction , suggests that these chairs were likely made by a major London cabinet-maker of the period.
Categories: Furniture