A Mid-Victorian Horseshoe-Back Library Armchair c.1860

Origin: English
Period: Mid-Victorian
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1860
Height: 32” or 19” at seat
Width: 28.5”
Depth: 31” (all at extremities)

The good quality mahogany framed and horse-shoe backed library or desk armchair of beautiful proportions, the back in ruby red upholstery, the circular seat ready for re-upholstery to very well carved chamfered tapering legs to rear swept legs, each with the original brass Cope & Colinson castors and surviving from the second quarter of the nineteenth century.
The chair has a very good overall colour to the timber and does not suffer from worm or damages. She is stable and the castors move freely. The upholstery is fresh to the back. There is a small joint crack to one leg where the castor meets the leg itself.

One of the most graceful chair designs is the horseshoe armchair, which originated more than 500 years ago in the time of the Ming Dynasty. The back rail and arms of the chair form a continuous semicircle, gently descending toward the front with the terminals of the arms bent slightly back in a rhythmic yet reserved curve. This design feature allies nicely with that of the barley-twist which is a well known feature on furniture, originally being Baroque, of Spanish-Moorish origin and coming to England from Portugal with Katherine of Braganza in 1661 when she married Charles II. The colour of the walnut in this instance produces a wonderful barley twist which has only improved with age whilst as a design feature it is most commonly seen these days in oak; and was much revived from the time of Queen Anne to during Victoria’s reign as we see with this example.

A high quality armchair that would work well as a desk chair or a statement piece in a corner.