Very Fine & Rare Set Of 12 Early 19th Century Ebonised, Lacquered & Parcel Gilt Egyptian Revival Dining Chairs In The Manner Of Thomas Hope. The shape & form of these chairs are without question one of the most elegant you could ever wish to see. Consisting of 2 open armchairs & 10 side chairs. The curvature & shaping on the top rails is a delight to behold, with shaped closed leaf designs leading to the most beautifully detailed depiction of the Egyptian Goddess Ma’at. The lattice work & design on the backs are emblematic of Thomas Hope at his finest, giving both comfort, support and artistic flair that allows these chairs the ability to grace both the finest & minimalist of tables. They are in excellent & sturdy condition, having all been recently caned by one of the Country’s leading cane specialists. The superb quality Horse hair cushions have all been upholstered in material designed to accentuate the style & colours within this majestic set.
Thomas Hope ( 1769–1831 ) was influential as a designer, design reformer and collector. He was the eldest Son of John Hope, a Dutch merchant of Scottish extraction and a member of a very wealthy and powerful Family of merchants and bankers who had settled, four generations earlier, in Holland. By the early 1780s, the merchant bank of Hope & Co were in the business of raising large sums for Kings and Governments throughout Europe and in the United States of America. After the death of his Father in 1784, Thomas shared his father’s fortune with his two brothers but appears never to have been active in the management of the lucrative Family business, which remained the source of his considerable wealth. The fortune allowed him to devote his time and energy to the arts. Hope’s extensive travels in Europe, Greece, Turkey and Egypt inspired his interest in antiquities as a source of designs for Regency interiors, furniture and metalwork. He was determined to reform contemporary taste by returning architecture and the arts, including interior design and furniture, to what he conceived as the spirit of classical purity. His furniture reached an even wider public through his book, ”Household Furniture and Interior Decoration”. Published in 1807, this book introduced the term ”interior decoration” into the English language. These wonderful chairs bear all the hallmarks of his exquisite taste. Hope’s influence continued long after his death.
Maat or Ma’at, was the Egyptian Goddess of truth, justice, morality and balance, she was one of the astonishing number of Gods and Goddesses worshipped by the Ancient Egyptians. They regarded her the divine guardian of the concepts of truth, balance, order, harmony, law, morality, justice and the personification of these concepts as a Goddess regulating the stars, seasons and the actions of both mortals and the deities, who set the order of the universe from chaos at the moment of creation. These amazing chairs are one of the few known examples to bear her image.
The elegance, exquisite design, classical beauty & rarity of there being a complete set of 12 of these chairs cannot be overstated.
Armchair Height: 33.5 inches
Armchair Width: 21 inches
Armchair Depth: 20 inches
Side Chair Height: 33.5 inches
Side Chair Width: 18.25 inches
Side Chair Depth: 18 inches
A truly beautiful & rare set of Thomas Hope chairs in the most wonderful of Egyptian revival taste.
Find this item on our blog post on The Vivien Leigh Collection Sotheby’s Catalogue.