A Sotheby’s Sale at West Wycombe Abbey turned up this generously scaled/proportioned chair in typically tatty but original condition, which I promptly sold to Lucian Freud at a time when I furnished him with many of his less animate subjects. Simple though it is in form, and fully upholstered, which was unusual for this early period when decorative show wood and fancy finishes were popular, the legs are in the fashionable ‘faux bamboo’ style, seen a lot in the Prince Regent’s Royal Pavilion in Brighton.
It is however, the understatedness of this chair that attracted me, and the perfect proportions. With a small tweak to remove the faux bamboo detail to produce an elegant plain tapering turned leg, the chair assumes a 1950s or even timeless style, ready to receive whatever covering you throw at it. The legs are turned in beech as standard with an ebonised finish – and we keep the semi-traditional upholstery to a slender minimum, incorporating the most sophisticated tailored comfortable seat cushion, of pure down, wrapped around a core to replace what would have been a firm stuffed horsehair (mattress style) squab. Although we’ve renamed this chair The Freud, Lucian Freud had a beloved Whippet called Pluto who often came in with him.
Craftsmanship and quality are absolutely central to everything we do at Howe London and we are passionate about promoting and preserving traditional skills, click here to read more.
Retail price starting from £3,312 incl VAT, excl fabric.