Ebonized beechwood, original Genoese velvet covers
H. 48 x W. 28 x D. 32 in. (121.9 x 71.1 x 81.3 cm)
Purchase, Gift of Irwin Untermyer, by exchange, and Bequests of Bernard M. Baruch, Ruth Mabee Lachman Greenleaf, and Irwin Untermyer, by exchange, 1998
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 511
These two armchairs are from a large suite of furniture comprising a bed, eight armchairs, four side chairs, and a pair of stools made about 1689 for Daniel Finch, second earl of Nottingham and seventh earl of Winchelsea (1647–1730), for the state bedroom and dressing room of his country seat, Burley-on-the-Hill in Rutland. Finch was secretary of state and privy counsellor to William III. He commissioned this set probably from Thomas Roberts, the prominent London chair maker who provided much of the seat furniture for the royal household. The tall raked backs and sinuously scrolled arms and legs reflect the style of Daniel Marot (1663–1752), the French architect and designer who worked closely with William and Mary both in Holland and England. The chairs retain their original and exceedingly rare Genoese cut-velvet covers, woven in several shades of red, blue, and green on an oyster ground in a Baroque pattern of scrolling leaves with matching tasseled fringe. The state bed, two of the armchairs, and the stools from this suite are displayed at William and Mary's palace of Het Loo, Apeldoorn, the Netherlands.
commissioned by Daniel Finch, 2nd Earl of Nottingham and 7th Earl of Winchilsea , Burley-on-the-Hill, Rutland, England (from ca. 1700) ; George Finch, 4th Earl of Nottingham and 9th Earl of Winchilsea (by 1826) ; W. H. M. Finch (by 1923) ; E. R. Hanbury (until 1989; sale, Christie's, London, July 6, 1989, part of lots 148–52; two armchairs and three sidechairs to private collector); Private Collection (1989–98) ; [ sale, Sotheby's, London , July 10, 1998, lots 84–86 (set of two armchairs and three sidechairs), two chairs to MMA ]