A Regency Mahogany & Leather Library Armchair c.1810-20

Origin: English
Period: Regency
Provenance: Ex: Professor James Griffin, formerly White's Professor of Moral Philosophy at Oxford University and an Emeritus Fellow of Corpus Christi college, Oxford
Date: c.1810-20
Width: 24”
Height: 35.5” or 17” at seat
Depth: 22”

The handsome early-nineteenth century mahogany library desk chair of exceptional colour ,the attractively worn quality leather being close nailed, on tapering legs with brass caps and casters surviving in desirable condition from Regency period England and from the estate of Professor James Griffin (1933-2019).

This beautiful chair shows a lived in and consistent amount of wear to its surface both to the mahogany and leather, with an all-over patination and as such proves beautifully decorative. The whole has no breakages or restoration and it is largely in untouched condition. The top rail shows some of the bare string which has come loose from the piping, this aside there are a few small marks as one would expect but crucially no tears.

The influences on Regency design and taste were legion; from Sheraton’s neoclassicism, Henry Holland’s Anglo-French taste, the Greek revival of Thomas Hope, and the Chinoiserie favoured by the Prince Regent, to an interest in the Gothic, Old English and rustic. The Regency attitude to interior decoration often involved treating each room as a unit with individual furnishings and wall decorations in harmony of theme or colour scheme.

James Patrick Griffin (8 July 1933 – 21 November 2019) was an American-born philosopher, who was White's Professor of Moral Philosophy at the University of Oxford from 1996 to 2000. Griffin was educated at Choate School in Wallingford, Connecticut, and Yale University, obtaining a BA in 1955. He was then a Rhodes Scholar at Corpus Christi College, Oxford (1955–58), then a senior scholar at St Antony's College, Oxford (1958–60), obtaining his doctorate under the supervision of Gilbert Ryle in 1960. He died on 21 November 2019 at the age of 86

As used by an eminent thinker of his time, this wonderful chair would have absorbed some highly intelligent conversation... and it seems he also had a very good eye for antiques.