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The Lapiere state bed canopy and headboard

attributed to Francis Lapiere (fl. 1683 - 1714)

Category

Furniture

Date

circa 1697

Materials

Pine, covered in silk damask, embellished with metal threads

Measurements

430 x 212 x 250 cm

Place of origin

London

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Collection

Hardwick Hall, Derbyshire (Accredited Museum)

On show at

Hardwick Hall, Derbyshire, Midlands, National Trust

NT 1127772

Summary

An important state bed canopy and headboard, English, circa 1697, attributed to Francis Lapiere [fl. 1683 - 1714], and described by Geoffrey Beard in 1997 as the 'one surviving documented and substantial example of Lapiere's work'. Originally made for William Cavendish, First Duke of Devonshire for Chatsworth, the 6th Duke (1790 - 1858) moved it to the Long Gallery in the 1820s to replace an earlier, smaller example. It appears in William Henry Hunt's 1828 view of the Long Gallery. A fragment only, what remains consists of a tester, carved cornices and a headboard, all covered in crimson silk damask and trimmed with gold thread lace galloon. The holes in the tester show that this was once a four-poster bed, not an 'angel' tester as has been claimed. The upholstery fixed to pine, the ceiling is coved and bossed. The backboard with scroll-carved pediment and a crowned festooned cypher, probably for William Cavendish. The cartouches to the canopy decorated with the Royal Garter motto. The bed's gilded feet now placed as corner finials on the tester cornice.

Provenance

Made for the Fourth State Room at Chatsworth, circa 1697. Erected by the 6th Duke of Devonshire in the Long Gallery at Hardwick Hall before 1828. By descent until, following the death of Edward William Spencer Cavendish, 10th Duke of Devonshire (1895 - 1950), Hardwick Hall and its contents were accepted by HM Treasury in part payment of death duties and transferred to the National Trust, in 1959.

Makers and roles

attributed to Francis Lapiere (fl. 1683 - 1714), upholsterer

References

Beard, 1997: Geoffrey Beard. Upholsterers and interior furnishing in England, 1530-1840. Bard studies in the decorative arts. New Haven; London: Yale University Press, 1997., discussed pp. 95 - 6 and illustrated Plates 92 - 4 Rowell, Christopher, 'The 'Bachelor' 6th Duke of Devonshire and Hardwick', in David Adshead and David Taylor, Hardwick Hall: A Great Old Castle of Romance (2016), 257 Westman, Annabel, 'Snug at the Hall': Beds and Canopies and the 6th Duke', in Hardwick Hall: A Great Castle of Old Romance (2016), 275 - 8, Figures 271 - 3

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