A Sublime Late Regency Period Faux Bamboo Upholstered Open Armchair c.1820


Origin: English
Period: Regency
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1815-25
Height: 38.5” at finals or 17” at seat
Width: 25”
Depth: 32” (all at extremities)

The very handsome and comfortable Regency stained beech and rosewood open armchair, in the roomy colonial plantation style, the carcass of deep proportions and of superb colour, the simulated ring-turned bamboo and stained rail back now beautifully worn with age, the whole with padded scroll arms and barrel ring turnings, having front ring turned front legs to rear sabres, each leg with the original quality brass castors, the whole newly upholstered in cotton and linen blend midnight blue and ochre ‘Tarovine’ fabric with a drop in seat and squab cushion, surviving from the first quarter of nineteenth century England.

The chair is in good overall order and has a fine patination and good overall colour to the stained beech as a whole; there is some old worm evident to the back lower rail and some to the legs which we have treated well as a precaution and then filled. She proves very stable, comfortable, and the original brass castors move freely. The upholstery is fresh and is part of an exclusive new line at D&H showcasing rare and fine antique furniture with a twist from the wonderful fabrics from House of Hackney, London.

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. Simple materials like beech simulating bamboo, as we see here, were favoured in this later period of Regency design emphasizing the gay informality of the new taste rather than the opulent and rich pieces made earlier.

Although there are no stamps present the chair bears a striking resemblance to that of a Gillows model, seen in plate 207 in Susan E Stuart’s book Gillows: of Lancaster and London 1730-1840.

A supreme example indeed of a Regency gentleman’s chair with comfort, rarity, and style all with a nonchalant contemporary twist; this truly has it all.