Dining room chair from the Speaker’s House, Palace of Westminster

Designer Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin British
Holland & Sons British

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 516

This chair comes from the Palace of Westminster which was rebuilt after a devastating fire in 1834 by Charles Barry. Having won the competition to design the building in a Gothic style, Barry was assisted by A. W. N. Pugin who was responsible for the entire interior and for much of the architectural decorative features of the Palace. This particular chair originally furnished the Speaker's House which was completed in 1859.

The architect and designer A.W.N. Pugin, was one of the foremost proponents of the Gothic style believing it to be the only possible Christian style. His writings and designs exerted great influence, and among his best known projects is his work on the Palace of Westminster. Although Pugin’s furniture is generally plain and solid without much ornamentation, the pieces he designed for the Palace of Westminster are more embellished as can be seen in the decorative carving of the X-frame chair. The overall design of the chair is very close to one by Crispin de Passe II included in Oficina arcularia which was published in Amsterdam in 1642. The chair was made by Holland & Sons.

Dining room chair from the Speaker’s House, Palace of Westminster, Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin (British, London 1812–1852 Ramsgate), Carved oak, upholstered in modern stamped and gilded red leather, British

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