The Stourhead Library Armchairs
Thomas Chippendale II (1749 -1822)
This mahogany armchair is one of eight commissioned by Sir Richard Colt Hoare (1758 – 1838) – owner of Stourhead – during the refurbishment of the property between 1795 and 1820. These chairs feature the superb mastery of detail for which Chippendale furniture is prized, including elegant scrolling at the arm and a finely carved Egyptian head.
A set of eight mahogany and cane library chairs, by Thomas Chippendale the Younger (1749-1822) London 1805. Commissioned for the library at Stourhead by Sir Richard Colt Hoare The moulded bowed yoke top rail centred by an oval medallion with scroll carved and reeded terminals held by fluted square section tapered legs headed by Egyptian female heads and terminating on brass castors, the bowed back with twist turned and bead supports with a moulded horizontal stretcher, cane seat, later padded loose cushion.
Chippendale's account dated 24th May 1805 '8 mahogany chairs with circular backs broad sweep pannelld tops with scrole elbows, carved Egyptian heads and fluted therm feet, the rails moulded and carved, cane seats and brass socket castors for Library£76-' and '8 thick quilted cushions for ditto covered with fine Anthenian red cloth tyed down with yellow and black tufts. 1 of the cushions covered with yellow leather. Welted &c £21-' Thomas Chippendale the Younger at Stourhead Sir Richard Colt Hoare employed Thomas Chippendale the Younger (1749-1822) from 1795 to 1820 to supply furniture and furnishings for Stourhead in Wiltshire. The accounts submitted for his work are the largest known archive relating to Chippendale’s work. Out of the 163 pieces of furniture described in the accounts, 103 are still in the house, mostly in the rooms for which they were made. There was a fire in 1902 which destroyed the central part of Stourhead but fortunately most of the pictures and furniture from the ground floor were saved, the majority of the contents of the upper floors were destroyed. Chippendale the Younger worked with his father Thomas Chippendale (1718-1779) for many years before the latter died. Much of the work he produced in the 1780s and 1790s continued the styles and techniques associated with the Chippendale firm. During these years he was completing or continuing commissions that the firm had been involved with including Harewood house, Nostell Priory, and Burton Constable amongst others. The furniture supplied for Stourhead shows the continued high quality and attention to detail that was expected from the Chippendale workshops, linked with simplicity of decoration and clarity of line. For further discussion and extensive published research see: Goodison, Judith ‘The life and work of Thomas Chippendale Junior’ PWP 2017 Goodison, Judith ‘Thomas Chippendale the Younger at Stourhead’ Furniture History Society 2005 (Vol. 41) pp. 57-116 Gilbert, Christopher ‘The life and work of Thomas Chippendale’ London 1978 Vol.1 pp.235, 267 Beard, Geoffrey & Gilbert, Christopher ‘The Dictionary of English Furniture Makers, 1660-1840’ Furniture History Society 1986 pg.169 Dudley Dodd & Lucy Wood, 'The Weeping Women commode and other Orphaned Furniture by the Chippendales at Stourhead', in Furniture History XLVII (2011) James Weedon (February 2018)
Commissioned for the library at Stourhead by Sir Richard Colt Hoare. Made by Thomas Chippendale the Younger and supplied in 1805. Stourhead; given to the National Trust along with the house, its grounds, and the rest of the contents by Sir Henry Hugh Arthur Hoare, 6th Bt (1865 – 1947) in 1946
Makers and roles
Thomas Chippendale II (1749 -1822), cabinet maker
Goodison, 2005: Judith Goodison. “Thomas Chippendale the younger at Stourhead.” Furniture History 31 (2005): pp.57-116, pp. 57-116 Gilbert, 1978: Christopher Gilbert. The life and work of Thomas Chippendale. London: Studio Vista: Christie’s, 1978., pp. 235, 267 Beard and Gilbert, 1986: Geoffrey Beard and Christopher Gilbert (ed), Dictionary of English Furniture Makers 1660-1840, 1986, pg.169 Goodison, 2017: Judith Goodison, The Life and Work of Thomas Chippendale Junior, PWP London & New York 2017