Description & Technical information

An extremely rare and possibly unique early 19th century parcel gilt rosewood and bronze painted reclining chair designed by William Pocock, upholstered in green and gold Regency stripe fabric, having a scrolled back, joined to the arms by means of an ingenious ratchet mechanism released by pulleys hidden within the rosewood sides, with gilt ovals and pendent gilt apron, and leopard monopodium front legs, each with an anthemion decorated breast and applied with wings, terminating in paw feet with concealed castors; and sabre legs, each terminating on a gilt ball with concealed castor, to the rear.

Note: This highly unusual and impressive chair is to date the only known realisation of Pocock’s design. The chair was at one stage fitted with a sliding footrest, which is now missing. William Pocock operated his business from a large showroom and workshops in Southampton Street, London. His speciality, mechanical furniture, was very much the vogue in the Regency period, and his ingenuity in developing new ideas led to a thriving business. His mechanical furniture included mattresses, tables and chairs, which were favoured by the War Office for campaigns abroad. This amazing chair is an example of his ability to combine current fashion with his cutting edge design.

Pocock published the prototype reclining chair in Ackermann’s ‘Repository of Arts’ in February 1813.

Height (upright): 41 in; 104.5 cm Height (reclined): 34 in; 86.5 cm Height of seat: 18 in; 46 cm Width: 29 in; 73.5 cm Depth (upright): 37 ¼ in; 94.5 cm Depth (reclined): 45 ½ in; 115.5 cm

Date:  1815
Period:  1750-1850, 19th century
Origin:  England
Medium: Gilt Rosewood, Bronze painted
Dimensions: 104.5 x 73.5 x 94.5 cm (41¹/₈ x 28⁷/₈ x 37¹/₄ inches)
Literature: Pauline Agius, Ackermann’s Regency Furniture and Interiors, 1984, p. 72.
Geoffrey Beard and Christopher Gilbert, The Dictionary of English Furniture Makers 1660-1840, 1986, pp. 703-70.
Simon Smynfen Jervis, John Stafford of Bath and his Interior Decorations, Furniture History Journal, 2009, p. 176.
Categories: Furniture