Tatham, Bailey & Sanders
Pair of council chairs, 1812
Giltwood, velvet upholstery
108.6 x 94 x 96.5 cm
Made for George IV, 1812 (£587 12s.; PRO LC9/396, quarter to 5 January 1813)
These magnificent chairs epitomise the fully developed Roman manner that George IV adopted for the interiors at Carlton House from c.1805 using the leading Mayfair cabinet-makers and interior decorators, Marsh & Tatham (subsequently Tatham, Bailey & Sanders). The introduction of this grandiose style, which gathered pace after the establishment of the Regency in 1812, eventually obliterated the majority of Henry Holland's sophisticated and chaste neo-classical interiors which had been the hallmark of Carlton House in the late eighteenth century. The inspiration for the chairs, part throne, part triumphal chariot, comes from three ancient marble chairs, drawn in Rome by C.H. Tatham, brother of Thomas Tatham, and published in 1800. The impeccably Roman origin of the design, much embellished by Tatham, is underlined by the use of the word 'Antique' in the bill. Originally upholstered in a luxurious pale blue and gold fleur-de-lis satin, the chairs were part of a large and expensive group of seat furniture supplied by Tatham for the Blue Velvet Room in December 1812. The curtains of the room were made of the same fleur-de-lis satin and had been installed in time for George IV to receive the exiled French royal family there for the spectacular fête held on 19 June 1811 to inaugurate the Regency.
Catalogue entry from Royal Treasures, A Golden Jubilee Celebration, London 2002