Designed by Philip Hardwick (born in London, 1792, died there in 1870); manufactured by W.& G. Wilkinson, London
Lent by the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths
French Style was considered particularly suitable for rooms used by women, like the Court Drawing Room for which this chair was made. The shaped legs, known as 'cabriole', and the overall curved outlines of this chair, were typical of the French Louis XV style. [27/03/2003]
This chair, painted gold and white, with cabriole (curved or shaped) legs and shaped frame, is typical of the French Style of the 1830s. This style was influenced by 18th-century French designs. Originally the chair was covered in crimson damask (a patterned woven fabric). The present upholstery is based on fragments of silk found on the chair and on the original sketches and estimates produced by the upholsterer for the commission.
The Court Drawing Room, Goldsmiths' Hall, London, was the room on the first floor of the Hall intended for the use of female guests of the Goldsmiths' Company. Originally decorated with a red, white and gold scheme, the Drawing Room had crimson satin curtains and wall hangings, and white and gold mouldings. The furniture included window seats, sofas, 4 large armchairs, 18 fly (lightweight) chairs and 8 chairs like this one, which cost œ56 each.
Philip Hardwick (1792-1870) was Surveyor of the Goldsmiths' Company who commissioned him to design a new Hall. His building was in the Italianate style with six Corinthian columns (one of the classical orders of architecture) on the front. Hardwick designed the Court Drawing Room on the first floor for the use of female guests. He commissioned the furnishings, including a set of these chairs, from W.& G. Wilkinson, 14 Ludgate Hill, London.