Show me:
and
Clear all filters

  • 32 items Explore
  • 38 items
  • 24 items Explore
  • 47 items
  • 92 items
  • 3,517 items Explore
  • 89 items Explore
  • 2 items
  • 1 items
  • 41 items
  • 9,887 items Explore
  • 209 items Explore
  • 1,211 items Explore
  • 7,418 items Explore
  • 4,948 items Explore
  • 75 items Explore
  • 101 items Explore
  • 9,387 items Explore
  • 13,022 items Explore
  • 3,753 items Explore
  • 38 items
  • 5 items
  • 120 items Explore
  • 2,035 items Explore
  • 2 items
  • 4,668 items Explore
  • 24 items Explore
  • 440 items Explore
  • 18,112 items Explore
  • 34 items Explore
  • 1,917 items Explore
  • 959 items Explore
  • 6 items
  • 4,906 items Explore
  • 407 items Explore
  • 29 items
  • 923 items Explore
  • 1 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 9 items
  • 15,876 items Explore
  • 787 items Explore
  • 2 items
  • 70 items Explore
  • 33 items
  • 798 items
  • 20 items
  • 61 items
  • 28 items
  • 303 items Explore
  • 6 items
  • 44 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 2 items
  • 2 items
  • 134 items
  • 2 items
  • 107 items Explore
  • 116 items
  • 897 items Explore
  • 834 items
  • 91 items
  • 27 items
  • 7 items
  • 23,247 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 3,309 items Explore
  • 1,497 items Explore
  • 352 items
  • 192 items Explore
  • 7,656 items Explore
  • 8,913 items Explore
  • 4 items
  • 1 items
  • 39 items
  • 3 items
  • 4 items
  • 5,736 items Explore
  • 5,565 items Explore
  • 4,026 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 857 items Explore
  • 859 items Explore
  • 2,490 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 312 items
  • 1 items
  • 1 items
  • 2,656 items Explore
  • 20 items Explore
  • 309 items Explore
  • 726 items Explore
  • 790 items Explore
  • 476 items Explore
  • 1,053 items Explore
  • 986 items
  • 89 items
  • 125 items Explore
  • 5,179 items Explore
  • 163 items
  • 311 items
  • 7 items Explore
  • 4 items
  • 23 items
  • 58 items
  • 302 items Explore
  • 2 items
  • 2,830 items Explore
  • 1,871 items Explore
  • 69 items
  • 43 items
  • 17,866 items Explore
  • 1,099 items Explore
  • 138 items
  • 785 items Explore
  • 28 items
  • 1 items
  • 145 items Explore
  • 18 items
  • 23 items
  • 252 items
  • 311 items
  • 830 items Explore
  • 1,893 items
  • 290 items Explore
  • 1,929 items
  • 2,101 items
  • 6 items
  • 2 items
  • 2 items
  • 3,686 items Explore
  • 2 items
  • 29,677 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 3,052 items Explore
  • 190 items Explore
  • 7,033 items Explore
  • 31 items
  • 25 items
  • 719 items Explore
  • 3 items
  • 65 items
  • 157 items
  • 52 items
  • 19,432 items Explore
  • 824 items
  • 17 items
  • 2 items
  • 18,161 items Explore
  • 5 items
  • 1,865 items Explore
  • 1,021 items Explore
  • 50 items
  • 420 items
  • 3,272 items Explore
  • 82 items
  • 1 items
  • 473 items Explore
  • 2 items
  • 20 items
  • 90 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 68 items
  • 288 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 4 items
  • 113 items
  • 267 items
  • 764 items
  • 717 items
  • 1 items
  • 341 items Explore
  • 459 items Explore
  • 10,351 items Explore
  • 695 items Explore
  • 5,847 items Explore
  • 19 items
  • 4,969 items Explore
  • 27 items
  • 1 items
  • 5,266 items Explore
  • 4 items
  • 3,296 items Explore
  • 9,171 items Explore
  • 6,473 items Explore
  • 180 items
  • 19 items
  • 142 items
  • 7 items
  • 989 items Explore
  • 17 items
  • 3,562 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 4 items
  • 1,022 items Explore
  • 195 items
  • 1 items
  • 3,486 items Explore
  • 20 items
  • 698 items Explore
  • 35 items
  • 114 items
  • 3,197 items Explore
  • 12,231 items Explore
  • 2,705 items Explore
  • 5 items
  • 7,922 items Explore
  • 31 items
  • 1 items
  • 21,312 items Explore
  • 91 items
  • 38 items
  • 12,844 items Explore
  • 3,290 items Explore
  • 1,900 items Explore
  • 162 items
  • 29,500 items Explore
  • 633 items Explore
  • 415 items
  • 21,199 items Explore
  • 200 items
  • 1 items
  • 17 items
  • 30 items
  • 47 items Explore
  • 4 items
  • 215 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 14,789 items Explore
  • 3 items
  • 15,263 items
  • 9 items
  • 10 items
  • 13 items
  • 25 items
  • 2,874 items Explore
  • 853 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 1 items
  • 195 items
  • 619 items Explore
  • 42 items
  • 2,023 items Explore
  • 874 items Explore
  • 14 items
  • 1,781 items Explore
  • 135 items
  • 1 items
  • 46 items
  • 695 items Explore
  • 2,683 items Explore
  • 38 items
  • 22 items
  • 12 items
  • 8,643 items Explore
  • 18,768 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 1 items
  • 1 items
  • 1 items
  • 2 items
  • 1,194 items
  • 170 items Explore
  • 5 items
  • 7 items
  • 77 items
  • 9,789 items Explore
  • 3,513 items Explore
  • 2,617 items Explore
  • 4,676 items Explore
  • 23 items
  • 57 items
  • 5,834 items Explore
  • 4,024 items Explore
  • 460 items Explore
  • 2,255 items Explore
  • 1,807 items Explore
  • 3 items
  • 1,274 items Explore
  • 41 items
  • 216 items Explore
  • 379 items Explore
  • 5,776 items Explore
  • 8,906 items Explore
  • 1,829 items Explore
  • 2,160 items Explore
  • 3,296 items Explore
  • 8,501 items Explore
  • 72 items
  • 11 items
  • 2,485 items Explore
  • 7 items
  • 24 items
  • 51 items
  • 1 items
  • 1,718 items Explore
  • 614 items Explore
  • 60 items
  • 16 items
  • 137 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 73 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 468 items
  • 934 items
  • 4 items
  • 3,562 items Explore
  • 5 items
  • 8,248 items Explore
  • 45 items Explore
  • 25 items
  • 44 items
  • 3 items
  • 12,897 items Explore
  • 1,213 items Explore
  • 91 items
  • 4,819 items Explore
  • 779 items Explore
  • 2,009 items
  • 5,096 items Explore
  • 21 items
  • 12,334 items Explore
  • 1,340 items Explore
  • 5 items
  • 9,546 items Explore
  • 15,950 items Explore
  • 4 items
  • 1,681 items Explore
  • 175 items
  • 35 items
  • 5,413 items Explore
  • 7,527 items Explore
  • 48 items
  • 11 items
  • 2 items
  • 59 items
  • 6,598 items Explore
  • 248 items Explore
  • 11 items
  • 4 items
  • 6 items
  • 4 items
  • 104 items Explore
  • 423 items
  • 150 items Explore
  • 7,321 items Explore
  • 45 items
  • 21,848 items Explore
  • 6,599 items Explore
  • 4 items
  • 4 items
  • 543 items Explore
  • 325 items
  • 163 items Explore
  • 10,842 items Explore
  • 54 items
  • 16 items
  • 5 items
  • 4 items
  • 314 items Explore
  • 403 items
  • 172 items
  • 333 items
  • 3,306 items Explore
  • 27 items
  • 1,228 items Explore
  • 1,920 items Explore
  • 588 items Explore
  • 20 items
  • 1,068 items Explore
  • 96 items Explore
  • 42 items
  • 253 items Explore
  • 57,146 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 2,626 items Explore
  • 2,599 items Explore
  • 34 items
  • 3,136 items Explore
  • 97 items Explore
  • 4 items
  • 14,106 items Explore
  • 5,115 items Explore
  • 7 items
  • 658 items Explore
  • 85 items
  • 1 items
  • 468 items
  • 39 items
  • 72 items
  • 29 items
  • 413 items
  • 3 items
  • 42 items
  • 1,059 items Explore
  • 91 items
  • 715 items
  • 46 items
  • 8,364 items Explore
  • 9 items
  • 947 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 14,181 items Explore
  • 92 items
  • 17 items
  • 1 items
  • 5 items
  • 302 items
  • 2 items
  • 547 items Explore
  • 1,681 items Explore
  • 913 items Explore
  • 2 items
  • 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, North, 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