A Good Victorian Aesthetic Movement Ebonised & Leather Upholstered Armchair c.1880


Origin: English
Period: Victorian
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1870-80
Height: 34.5 inches
Width: 22.75 inches
Depth: 21 inches (at extremities)

The rather unusual ebonised and leather studded upholstered open armchair or desk chair on front brass castors with flute decorated turned legs united by a stretcher, the arms with scrolled ends, survives from late nineteenth century England.

The chair has obviously been in good use and as such the ebonisation has signs of wear especially to the top of the arms, which is attractive, and there is consistent wear to the leather upholstery making for a very decorative piece. She still remains relatively sturdy and moves on her castors (which are possibly later). There is one small burn hole mark to the leather seat.

The aesthetic movement can be seen as the bridge to the arts and crafts style. It often had formalised, restrained ornamentation, and was heavily influenced by Japanese decoration, knowledge of which flowed to the West in the nineteenth century through oriental imports. It rebelled against the lavish ornamentation and over-embellishment of the high Victorian period, and sought a purer, more precise level of expression.

You just don’t see aesthetic movement pieces teamed with leather. There should be more; wonderful.