An Elegant Aesthetic Movement Ebonised Upholstered Occasional Settee

Origin: English
Period Late Nineteenth Century
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1880-90
Height: 29 inches
Width: 42 inches
Depth: 21 inches (at maximum)

The ebonised and parcel gilt button-back occasional settee of small proportions upholstered in ivory-yellow damask type material having a horseshoe shaped scroll carved and pierced show-back with carved supports and legs on the original brass castors survives from the Aesthetic Period of late nineteenth century England.

The settee is in mainly good condition with the relatively recent button back upholstery of good quality, mainly clean and tasteful and she does not need re-springing though there is a little sag to the webbing. The carving is all-present with no losses and the ebonisation is in mainly sound order with expected areas of wear in the right places, with an area of heavier wear present to the front rail. There has been one repair, to the back left leg though she remains stable and unaffected save for a visible hairline crack on close inspection.

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.

A dainty occasional settee that proves wonderfully stylish when strategically positioned, its design perfectly showcasing the aesthetic movements key influences of the far east and the natural world.