11320 A BEAUTIFULLY DRAWN, CARVED AND PALE BLUE PAINTED AND GILT FAUTEUIL EN GONDOLE Probably Russian. Early Nineteenth Century. Measurements: Height: 27″ (68.6 cm) Width: 26″ (66 cm) Depth: 21″ (53.3 cm).
Of walnut with painted and gilt decoration. The upholstered U-shaped backrest and sides carved with feather motifs and centered by a plume, the bowfronted seat above seat rail carved with drapery swags raised on feathered legs ending in claw and ball feet to the front, and sabre legs to the rear. Later decoration removed to reveal original pale blue and gilding. This decoration carefully conserved. Later upholstery to back removed.
Bears pencil inscription “Shreve Crump” on the seat rail
Shreve, Crump & Low, Boston, Massachusetts
Property of Rose Cumming
Property of a New England Collector, Sotheby’s New York, 31 March 1990, Lot 140
The carved decoration of this armchair places it in a class of furniture being produced in early 19th century Russia, comparable to pieces made for the Imperial family by designers like Andrey Voronikhin (1759-1814) and Luigi Rusca (1762-1822). “The full measure of the wood carvers’ mastery of their craft can be seen in the innumerable chairs, armchairs, settees, tables, console tables, etc. with supports shaped as the figures of eagles, lions, griffins and swans, showing an astonishing variety of treatment and great powers if invention.”1
1. Sokolova, T M, and K A. Orlova. Russian Furniture in the Collection of the Hermitage. Leningrad: Khudozhnik RSFSR, 1973. 30.
Full research report available on request.