9442

PAIR OF FAUX BAMBOO LIBRARY CHAIRS & FOOTSTOOL BY MILES AND EDWARDS

English. Circa 1825.

Measurements

English. Circa 1825.English. Circa 1825.English. Circa 1825.

Research

Of beech, carved and painted to simulate bamboo. The chairs, each with a scrolling upholstered back with faux bamboo uprights the upholstered arms supported by down-swept faux bamboo armrests, the upholstered seat set upon a faux bamboo seat rail, the whole raised on four legs, the pair to the rear of sabre form. The footstool with upholstered seat rail above a pierced lozenge frieze, the whole raised on four faux bamboo legs.

Marks:
One chair bears the stamp:
MILES & EDWARDS  134 OXFORD ST  LONDON  8559

Stool bears the stamp:
MILES & EDWARDS  134 OXFORD ST  LONDON  8734
The present chairs and stool bear the mark of the cabinet makers Miles and Edwards of 134 Oxford Street, London. Establishing their shop in 1822, Henry Miles and John Edwards  became a prestigious firm, handling many important commissions, including work for the British Ambassador in Paris and the Empress of Russia in 1830, together with work at houses such as Hopetoun House, Lothian and Stafford House, London.1

The suite’s simulated bamboo design is reminiscent of the fantastical chinoiserie furniture of one of the Regency’s most remarkable buildings, the Brighton Pavilion. Built by Henry Holland and decorated by many of the leading craftsmen of the day, it was a bold interpretation of the Chinese style which celebrated the fantastical and the illusory. Trompe l’oeil decoration, such as painted views and animals abounded, and the faux bamboo furniture found throughout the residence formed part of this playful scheme.2

Commissioned from the celebrated cabinetmakers Edward, Marsh and Tatham around 1802, these pieces of furniture were ingenious simulations, devised of woods such as beech carefully carved and painted to resemble the more exotic material, bamboo. This same technique, executed to particularly high standard, can seen in the present suite.  Moreover, the pierced bamboo frieze of the footstool can be directly compared to the pattern of the faux bamboo fire guard in the King’s Library at Brighton, recorded in a drawing by A.W.N. Pugin in 1823.3

Full research report available on request.

Full research report available on request.