A Pair of Mahogany Hall Armchairs

Christie’s The Collector: English & European Furniture, Ceramics, Silver & Works of Art Online Auction 19989, is now live; concluding on the 19th of October.

Amongst the varied lots, I espied this pair of mid eighteenth-century mahogany armchairs (lot 162) with their pre-auction estimate of USD10,000 – USD15,000 (AUD13,770 – AUD20,660; GBP18,740 – GBP28,110).

Fig. 1. George II mahogany armchairs, circa 1755. (Christie’s)

The attachment of the rear legs/stiles to the seat is precisely what I would have expected on this type of chair. A pair of plugs in the back of each stile cover the screws that attach them to the seat (figure 2).

Fig. 2. Screws simply attach stiles to seat. (Christie’s)

Compare with this chair in the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Jack Plane

About Jack Plane

Formerly from the UK, Jack is a retired antiques dealer and self-taught woodworker, now living in Australia.
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6 Responses to A Pair of Mahogany Hall Armchairs

  1. Joe M says:

    I wonder if they used Philips head or square drive screws?

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    • TobyC says:

      I hope that is in jest. At least you didn’t include Torx.

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      • JoeM says:

        TobyC, Yes in jest. After I posted the question I realized how it was unclear…I don’t want Jack to put the big “X” on me.
        I like the width of these chairs….you can feel the comfort from the photos. Nice pair of chairs. Will be interesting to see the hammer price. There are two other lots of chairs in the Auction hat Seem to have lower expectations…

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  2. Eric R says:

    Nicely done, but I would be surprised if they went for that high a price.
    Thank you, Jack.

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  3. Joe says:

    Those are pretty chairs. Well out of my price range. One of the things I like about woodworking is that I can make reproductions of things I really like and generally speaking the wood is relatively affordable. In this case it is probably Cuban mahogany and that is an exception.

    I stumbled into this discovery about 20 years ago. I paid a friend $300 to make me a desk and I bought the wood for about $250ish dollars. All in all, I was in desk about $600 from a Fine Woodworking design. About a year later, I was in a high end furniture store that sold local artisan furniture and I saw the exact desk selling for $5,000. I was surprised and happy at the same time. I hadn’t really thought of how much the desk we were building was worth (I was only three years out from being a starving student and still had that mindset). I had a nice piece of furniture for basically the cost of wood and seat equity.

    Of course, if I made those chairs and even if they were Cuban mahogany, they wouldn’t sell for what the antiques did. Still, I’d be able to say to my wife, you see these chairs here sweetie, an antique set of them sold for XXXX dollars. Of course, I don’t need to justify making furniture, I just like to do it.

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