A Stately Early 20thC Chinoiserie Blue Lacquer Caned Bergère Suite

Origin: English
Period: Edwardian/George V
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1915-1925
The Sofa:
Length: 71 inches tapering to 62 inches
Depth: 35.5 inches
Height: 31 inches
The Armchairs:
Length: 31 inches tapering to 22 inches
Depth: 35.5 inches
Height: 31 inches

Of very generous and unusually cavernous proportions the early twentieth century three piece bergere suite comprising of a sofa and two armchairs in a peacock blue lacquered finish on a solid beech carcass, the chinoiserie decoration depicting figures and landscapes throughout, each with double caned back and sides above padded seats on shaped ball and claw feet, reupholstered in biscuit coloured ‘Warwick, Tailor Earth’ fabric with large drop in cushions and loose scatter cushions survives from the first quarter of the twentieth century.

This very comfortable drawing room or orangery suite has been restored and the upholstery is all contemporary with much of the canework carefully replaced. The lacquered decoration has wear in all of the expected areas, most notably to the arms, and displays a nice healthy patination. The suite is therefore presented in immaculate condition, ready to use.

Much less common in blue lacquer, usually when these suites are found they are found finished in black. The blues hues appear as peacock, teal or turquoise blues depending on the angle of viewing and whether the particular area has wear to it. The chairs are tapered, a rather unusual shape, and exceptionally deep making them wonderfully comfortable and the sofa is broad and just as deep. The suite is heavy and this gives another pointer to its quality, beech the wood of choice for the carcass.

The fine art of chinoiserie has been in existence since the 17th century, and it depicts Chinese style designs applied to furniture, ceramics and fabrics. Chinoiserie is wonderfully beautiful, and tends to depict realistic and fictitious animals, insects, people, foliage, structures and various other elaborate Asian designs that can be incorporated into a number of decorating themes. Antique pieces embellished with Asian-style chinoiserie and high-quality japanning are coated with baked-on layers that look very much like modern-day high-gloss enamel. Chinoiserie that has been japanned is coated with many layers of resin-based gloss and baked dry. Much polishing goes into the true technique of japanning, and high-quality pieces will appear to have deep layers of gloss with the sheen of fine marble, but true antique pieces like this will show signs of age and wear.

Gloriously roomy and wallowing in decadent gentility, this is authentic country house furniture at its zenith.