Show me:
and
Clear all filters

  • 25 items Explore
  • 38 items
  • 24 items Explore
  • 47 items
  • 92 items
  • 3,513 items Explore
  • 89 items Explore
  • 2 items
  • 39 items
  • 9,883 items Explore
  • 208 items Explore
  • 1,210 items Explore
  • 7,417 items Explore
  • 4,946 items Explore
  • 75 items Explore
  • 104 items Explore
  • 9,265 items Explore
  • 154 items Explore
  • 4,283 items Explore
  • 5 items
  • 121 items Explore
  • 2,032 items Explore
  • 2 items
  • 4,690 items Explore
  • 24 items Explore
  • 440 items Explore
  • 18,050 items Explore
  • 34 items Explore
  • 1,904 items Explore
  • 961 items Explore
  • 6 items
  • 5,133 items Explore
  • 399 items Explore
  • 29 items
  • 923 items Explore
  • 1 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 9 items
  • 15,033 items Explore
  • 787 items Explore
  • 3 items
  • 70 items Explore
  • 33 items
  • 798 items
  • 20 items
  • 61 items
  • 28 items
  • 304 items Explore
  • 6 items
  • 55 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 2 items
  • 133 items
  • 2 items
  • 107 items Explore
  • 116 items
  • 899 items Explore
  • 833 items
  • 91 items
  • 27 items
  • 7 items
  • 22,280 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 3,266 items Explore
  • 1,452 items Explore
  • 352 items
  • 192 items Explore
  • 7,647 items Explore
  • 8,887 items Explore
  • 4 items
  • 1 items
  • 39 items
  • 3 items
  • 4 items
  • 5,744 items Explore
  • 5,357 items Explore
  • 4,026 items Explore
  • 857 items Explore
  • 859 items Explore
  • 2,474 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 314 items
  • 1 items
  • 1 items
  • 2,468 items Explore
  • 20 items Explore
  • 308 items Explore
  • 727 items Explore
  • 783 items Explore
  • 476 items Explore
  • 897 items Explore
  • 935 items
  • 89 items
  • 125 items Explore
  • 5,171 items Explore
  • 163 items
  • 1 items
  • 311 items
  • 7 items Explore
  • 4 items
  • 22 items
  • 58 items
  • 302 items Explore
  • 2 items
  • 3,241 items Explore
  • 1,289 items Explore
  • 69 items
  • 43 items
  • 17,458 items Explore
  • 1,092 items Explore
  • 138 items
  • 43 items
  • 7 items
  • 1 items
  • 145 items Explore
  • 18 items
  • 23 items
  • 252 items
  • 311 items
  • 962 items Explore
  • 1,893 items
  • 526 items Explore
  • 1,662 items
  • 562 items
  • 6 items
  • 2 items
  • 3 items
  • 3,727 items Explore
  • 29,322 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 3,055 items Explore
  • 189 items Explore
  • 6,770 items Explore
  • 31 items
  • 25 items
  • 719 items Explore
  • 2 items
  • 65 items
  • 157 items
  • 52 items
  • 18,621 items Explore
  • 824 items
  • 17 items
  • 2 items
  • 16,218 items Explore
  • 2 items
  • 1,862 items Explore
  • 1,021 items Explore
  • 45 items
  • 371 items
  • 3,263 items Explore
  • 79 items
  • 1 items
  • 1 items
  • 473 items Explore
  • 2 items
  • 19 items
  • 90 items Explore
  • 68 items
  • 289 items Explore
  • 5 items
  • 1 items
  • 4 items
  • 112 items
  • 272 items
  • 760 items
  • 719 items
  • 1 items
  • 342 items Explore
  • 459 items Explore
  • 10,410 items Explore
  • 689 items Explore
  • 5,846 items Explore
  • 19 items
  • 4,787 items Explore
  • 27 items
  • 1 items
  • 5,125 items Explore
  • 4 items
  • 3,296 items Explore
  • 9,145 items Explore
  • 6,298 items Explore
  • 181 items
  • 19 items
  • 142 items
  • 7 items
  • 845 items Explore
  • 17 items
  • 3,837 items Explore
  • 4 items
  • 1,022 items Explore
  • 194 items
  • 1 items
  • 3,486 items Explore
  • 20 items
  • 698 items Explore
  • 35 items
  • 1 items
  • 114 items
  • 3,188 items Explore
  • 12,125 items Explore
  • 2,698 items Explore
  • 4 items
  • 7,391 items Explore
  • 31 items
  • 1 items
  • 21,531 items Explore
  • 91 items
  • 38 items
  • 13,862 items Explore
  • 3,290 items Explore
  • 1,643 items Explore
  • 162 items
  • 27,460 items Explore
  • 634 items Explore
  • 415 items
  • 20,948 items Explore
  • 150 items
  • 1 items
  • 16 items
  • 30 items
  • 814 items Explore
  • 4 items
  • 192 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 14,769 items Explore
  • 3 items
  • 9 items
  • 10 items
  • 13 items
  • 25 items
  • 2,174 items Explore
  • 855 items Explore
  • 11 items
  • 1 items
  • 186 items
  • 587 items Explore
  • 42 items
  • 2,080 items Explore
  • 780 items Explore
  • 1,833 items Explore
  • 135 items
  • 30 items
  • 632 items Explore
  • 2,697 items Explore
  • 38 items
  • 22 items
  • 12 items
  • 5,668 items Explore
  • 15,494 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 1 items
  • 2 items
  • 1,194 items
  • 169 items Explore
  • 4 items
  • 7 items
  • 77 items
  • 9,784 items Explore
  • 3,484 items Explore
  • 2,618 items Explore
  • 4,670 items Explore
  • 23 items
  • 56 items
  • 5,833 items Explore
  • 4,027 items Explore
  • 463 items Explore
  • 2,255 items Explore
  • 1,751 items Explore
  • 3 items
  • 1,273 items Explore
  • 41 items
  • 216 items Explore
  • 365 items Explore
  • 5,677 items Explore
  • 8,647 items Explore
  • 1,825 items Explore
  • 2,150 items Explore
  • 3,296 items Explore
  • 7,275 items Explore
  • 72 items
  • 2,489 items Explore
  • 24 items
  • 51 items
  • 1 items
  • 598 items Explore
  • 614 items Explore
  • 60 items
  • 16 items
  • 137 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 73 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 1 items
  • 466 items
  • 934 items
  • 3,570 items Explore
  • 5 items
  • 8,193 items Explore
  • 45 items Explore
  • 21 items
  • 44 items
  • 3 items
  • 12,952 items Explore
  • 1,241 items Explore
  • 91 items
  • 4,812 items Explore
  • 768 items Explore
  • 1,977 items
  • 4,310 items Explore
  • 21 items
  • 12,277 items Explore
  • 1,335 items Explore
  • 5 items
  • 9,553 items Explore
  • 15,785 items Explore
  • 3 items
  • 1,681 items Explore
  • 175 items
  • 26 items
  • 5,407 items Explore
  • 7,187 items Explore
  • 48 items
  • 11 items
  • 2 items
  • 59 items
  • 6,513 items Explore
  • 251 items Explore
  • 11 items
  • 4 items
  • 6 items
  • 4 items
  • 104 items Explore
  • 423 items
  • 117 items Explore
  • 7,266 items Explore
  • 45 items
  • 20,188 items Explore
  • 6,606 items Explore
  • 4 items
  • 18 items
  • 193 items Explore
  • 279 items
  • 110 items Explore
  • 10,843 items Explore
  • 54 items
  • 16 items
  • 67 items
  • 4 items
  • 316 items Explore
  • 403 items
  • 172 items
  • 3,252 items Explore
  • 27 items
  • 1,213 items Explore
  • 1,588 items Explore
  • 567 items Explore
  • 20 items
  • 1,079 items Explore
  • 96 items Explore
  • 42 items
  • 253 items Explore
  • 55,474 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 2,627 items Explore
  • 2,639 items Explore
  • 18 items
  • 3,230 items Explore
  • 97 items Explore
  • 4 items
  • 10,516 items Explore
  • 5,341 items
  • 7 items
  • 658 items Explore
  • 85 items
  • 1 items
  • 468 items
  • 40 items
  • 72 items
  • 29 items
  • 412 items
  • 3 items
  • 42 items
  • 1,057 items Explore
  • 91 items
  • 463 items
  • 46 items
  • 7,631 items Explore
  • 9 items
  • 947 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 14,174 items Explore
  • 93 items
  • 17 items
  • 5 items
  • 302 items
  • 2 items
  • 544 items Explore
  • 1,693 items Explore
  • 770 items Explore
  • 154 items

Select a time period

Or choose a specific year

Clear all filters

Settee

William Kent (Bridlington 1685 – London 1748)

Category

Furniture

Date

1730 - 1770

Materials

Giltwood and velvet

Measurements

1180 x 1420 x 710 mm

Order this image

Collection

Rievaulx Terrace, North Yorkshire (Accredited Museum)

On show at

Rievaulx Terrace, Yorkshire, Yorkshire and North East, National Trust

NT 202010.1

Summary

One of a pair of William Kent settees with carved gilt arms, and 'S'-scrolled legs united by garlands of oak leaves and sprays of acanthus, the front frieze decorated with a central acanthus leaf and two sphinx figures. The top rail is surmounted by a carved female head (representing the goddess Diana?). The detailing typifies Kent's eclectic mix of ancient motifs.

Full description

The design of this gilt settee is among William Kent’s most celebrated compositions, embodying all that is “Kentian,” as his style came to be known. Gloriously three-dimensional, it typifies Kent’s eclectic mix of ancient motifs. A central mask of a woman, possibly the Roman goddess of the hunt, Diana, sits on the crest of the settee’s back, acanthus scrolls embellish the arms and legs, and two large-scale sphinxes support the seat. Kent used these motifs and details on several of his most spectacular pieces, such as the side table with sphinx supports in the saloon at Houghton Hall, country seat of Robert Walpole, Britain’s first prime minister. Sphinxes are also included in an engraved tailpiece by Kent for Alexander Pope’s translation of Homer’s Odyssey (1725–26). For details on Provenance see History tab,

Provenance

The settee is one of a pair, long thought to have been copies of Kent-designed settees from Wilton House, Salisbury, purposely made for its Double Cube Room. Recent scholarship, however, has revealed that they are not copies but original Kent works made before 1731 for Wanstead House in Essex, rather than Wilton. Wanstead, an early eighteenth-century Anglo-Palladian country house, had been commissioned by Richard Child, Viscount Castlemaine, and designed by Colen Campbell, one of the premier architects of his day. Its construction was completed by 1725. Kent provided furnishings and painted ceilings for the celebrated interiors. The house was demolished in 1824, but we catch a glimpse of Kent’s contributions in William Hogarth’s painting of the ballroom, The Assembly at Wanstead House (1728–31), which is also in the William Kent exhibition. The painted ceiling and several pieces of furniture are by Kent, including one of the sphinx settees visible on the right in the painting. Peter Brown, Director of the York Civic Trust, identified the settees at Wilton and Rievaulx as those Kent designed for the ballroom at Wanstead. Two years before Wanstead’s demolition, there was an historic sale of much of the contents of the house, and Kent’s work was widely dispersed. The sale catalogue lists eight settees in the Grand Ballroom, each one “an elegant square settee, in superb massive carved and gilt frame, with scrolled elbows, the back stuffed in costly crimson Genoa velvet, and squab to correspond, on scroll legs, the frame ornamented with mermaids [sphinxes], and festoons of flowers.” There were three buyers, likely to have been agents or dealers, who must later have sold their settees: their names appear in an annotated copy of the catalogue as French, Davis, and Jarman. Six settees were subsequently acquired by Catherine Woronzow, the Russian wife of the eleventh Earl of Pembroke, for her refurbishment of Wilton House in the 1820s. They are there today. The other two, including the one on loan to the exhibition, are now in the Ionic Temple at Rievaulx Terrace in Yorkshire. They were probably bought in the twentieth century, sometime between the two world wars, by Lord Feversham for Duncombe Park, where they were placed in the Temple around 1957. (Copy by Susan Weber for the 2014 catalogue for the exhibition William Kent: Designing Georgian Britain.) Transferred to National Trust from Treasury in lieu of estate duty in 1972

Makers and roles

William Kent (Bridlington 1685 – London 1748), designer John Beresford Fowler (Lingfield 1906 -1977), interior designer

View more details