To celebrate the Queen’s 60 years on the throne, a spectacular exhibition of treasures from the Royal Palaces will go on display – including a number of antique dining chairs .
Reflecting the tastes of the British monarchy over 500 years, 100 of the finest treasures in the Royal Collection are to be exhibited at the Queen’s Gallery, Holyrood House, between March and September. Around ¼ of the display will be devoted to furniture – such as two gilded mahogany antique dining chairs, circa 1828, from a suite of 56 commissioned for the King’s private apartments at Windsor. In gilded mahogany and silk damask, the chairs were made by Morel & Seddon with the help of F.H.G. Jacob-Desmalter, a Parisian cabinetmaker who designed much of the furniture at Windsor.
For the average antique collector in Cumbria, Victorian dining chairs in the Chippendale style are as close as they will get to owning the real thing. However, Holyrood has three gilded beechwood armchairs made by Thomas Chippendale himself. Made in 1773, they are part of a much larger set of sofas, armchairs and dining chairs, comprising Chippendale’s only known commission for the Royal Family.
The exhibition also features two chairs in the gothic style, part of a large suite made for the Speaker’s House in the Palace of Westminster. Reflecting the “regothicising” of Windsor going on at the time, the chairs were japanned and highly polished to give them the appearance of ebony. Cheaply made Victorian dining chairs, however, were often japanned to disguise poor quality wood. A Preston antique dealer will help you find the best pieces.
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