The banqueting hall chairs are designed in the robust early-19th century Grecian fashion promoted by architects such as Sir Robert Smirke (died 1867) author of “Specimens of Continental Architecture”, 1806. Their heraldically-charged backs bear the Taylor family crest sculpted in bas-relief within reed-banded and pelta-scrolled escutcheons that are shell-crested and palm-flowered. They were commissioned by George Watson Taylor, one of the greatest connoisseur-collectors of the early-19th century. Born into a West Indian plantation family, his fortunes were augmented by his wife’s vastly larger plantation fortune. The chairs were probably supplied around 1816, the time he purchased his house in Cavendish Square. This and his country house at Erlestoke Park in Wiltshire were decorated in the most splendid French style fashionable at the period. Sadly, a decline in this fortune saw the gradual dispersal of his collections, culminating in a 3,572 lot sale of the contents of Erlestoke in 1832.
Provenance: Supplied to George Watson Taylor (1770-1841), Erlestoke Park, Wiltshire and Lysosome Hall, Jamaica
Jeremy Ltd., London.