Inlaid and carved oak wainscot chair c.1650 ...

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This is a fine piece of furniture, every bit as usable now as when it was made. It has the characteristics of a Yorkshire chair, Leeds area. The two panelled back, with superb carving, is typical of 1630-40, but the two applied mouldings are of a type fashionable in the 1650s and later. The Northern counties were very conservative and these wainscot chairs were made there long after those further south had ceased their production.

This chair is of excellent quality but constant use over the centuries has inevitably left its marks.
As these once high status chairs became unfashionable in the 18th century they moved down from gentry houses to farmers and small merchants then into cottages.
This example shows all the signs of constant use, being used almost to the point of extinction and needing considerable repair.
From the late 18th into the 19th century a fashion for mediaevalism and antiquarianism began and flourished, started by 'The Castle of Otranto' and encouraged by Sir Walter Scott's hugely successful writings.
Furniture that had been discarded was sought and restored. All this history is shown in this chair... some parts have been skilfully replaced or repaired. Although not one for the purist collector this is a fine chair with a long story to tell...and it is sturdy enough to last at least another 350 years.
It is priced at a fraction of the cost of an untouched chair of this type.

DIMENSIONS: 45 inches tall x 23.5 inches wide x 22 inches deep.
PROVENANCE: Bristol private collection.
| $1,312 USD | €1,116 EUR

Portrait of Lady Catherine Stanhope c.1706; by ...

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Oil on canvas in a rare late 19th /early 20th century papier-mache and wood frame. Frames of this type were first made in the early 18th century, but not many have survived.
Inscription, upper right: "Cath(er)ine: dau(ghte)r of 2nd Earl of Chesterfield. Mar(ried)Sir Godfrey Clarke Bart".
CATHERINE STANHOPE, (1675-1728) daughter of Philip Stanhope, 2nd Earl of Chesterfield , married Sir Godfrey Clarke in June 1706; probably this portrait was painted to mark the occasion. She is buried in the Church of St. Peter and St. Paul, Brampton, Derbyshire, where her fine and grand memorial still exists.
Her husband, who was the son of Sir Gilbert and Barbara, Lady Clarke, born in 1679, died in 1734. He had been Deputy-Lieutenant of Derbyshire in 1702, and was High Sheriff from 1705-1706.

This portrait is a fine example of the artist’s eloquent depiction of aristocratic women. In terms of both draughtmanship and pose Dahl’s female portraits are noticeably softer and gentler than Kneller’s, and thus allow for a greater versatility in the expression of feminine beauty.
Dahl’s works are frequently distinguished by a greater attention to the character of the sitter than those of his rivals, and he particularly allowed a softer aspect to the surfaces of his sitter’s costume and drapery. His colours are silvered and luminous, and there is a great charm and sensitivity in the overall expression of the sitter. In this example, the drapery and sitter’s turned head impart a subtle sense of movement.
MICHAEL DAHL (1659 - 1743).
Dahl was a painter of exceptional talent and regarded as the only really serious rival to Sir Godfrey Kneller, for royal patronage, during the years 1690-1714. Dahl's patterns were undoubtedly indebted to the fashion set by Kneller, but Dahl had a lighter palette, his brushwork applied in shorter and more careful strokes. His portraits of women show greater modesty and refinement, with none of Kneller's occasional brashness.
His self portrait hangs in the National Portrait Gallery and he is famed for having painted a series of wonderful female portraits for the Duke of Somerset, now at Petworth House, and known as the Petworth Beauties.
Dahl's portraits of members of the Royal family hang at Kensington Palace and Windsor and other examples of his work can be found at the Tate and the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich.

SIZE: 39 x 35.5 inches including the frame.
PROVENANCE: Sussex Private Collection, but bought in the USA about 40 years ago.
| $13,249 USD | €11,274 EUR

Portrait of a Gentleman c.1690; Attributed to ...

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Oil on canvas in a good quality 19th century frame. Gilt label on the frame: "VAN BOONEN. From the collection of Quarante Ratazzi"
An excellent portrait of a young gentleman, typical of van Boonen's style and capturing much of the character of the sitter.
ANOLD VAN BOONEN (16 December 1669 – 2 October 1729) was a Dutch portrait painter. He was born at Dordrecht, in the Dutch Republic in 1669. He was a pupil first of Arnold Verbuis, and then of Godefried Schalken. He painted genre pictures in the style of the latter, representing subjects by candlelight, but met with such encouragement in portrait painting that he devoted himself almost wholly to that. His style was well adapted to succeed in it. An excellent colourist and highly skilled, capable of capturing a good likeness, he was soon distinguished as one of the most able artists of his day. He painted a great number of portraits of the most distinguished people of his time, among whom were Peter the Great, the Elector of Mentz, the Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt, the Prince and Princess of Orange, the great Duke of Marlborough, and several others. He painted some large pictures for the halls of the different companies at Amsterdam and Dordrecht. He died in 1729.
The Dresden Gallery has seven works by him, and the 'Woman Singing' in the Lille Gallery is also attributed to him. His son, Kasper van Boonen, also painted portraits, but in no way proved himself equal to his father.
SIZE: 27.75 x 24.75 inches including the frame.
PROVENANCE: Collection of Quarante Ratazzi.
Cheshire Private Collection.
Verso: Old paper collection number '98' and old Christie's stencil.

| $7,969 USD | €6,781 EUR

Charles II carved walnut chair c.1675-85.

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This is a fine chair of its type, the carving of better quality than is usual; this is fluid and accomplished. The walnut is of good colour and patination.
This style of cane backed and seated chairs had represented a revolution in seating comfort, but with the disadvantage of fragility.
A surprising number of these chairs still exist (they were made in their thousands) but many are now suitable only for decorative purposes as woodworm, frequent recaning and damage to the joints and the tall backs have rendered them virtually unusable.
This one has had its cane seat replaced and there is a small damage in the caned back. The chair is absolutely firm and steady, completely ready to use in a normal way.

DIMENSIONS: 45 inches tall, 20 inches wide, 18 inches deep.
PROVENANCE: In the Private Collection of a now retired Suffolk antiques dealer for the last 50 years. There is an old exhibition label under the seat which reads "Cambridge - Lent by A.S.F. Gow M.A. Trinity College 1941. Walnut chair 'English' period of Charles II"
| $792 USD | €674 EUR

'Japanned' chair c.1700 - 15.

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This elegant chair is a fine example of the Queen Anne period c.1700; tall and elegant, it has the angled front legs the advent of which was the 1690s, and was an important new stage in English chair design. The fashionable life of the 'corner horsebone' leg was from the 1690s to about 1715.
This style of cane backed and seated chairs had represented a revolution in seating comfort, but with the disadvantage of fragility.
A surprising number of these chairs still exist (they were made in their thousands) but many are now suitable only for decorative purposes as woodworm, frequent recaning and damage to the joints and the tall backs have rendered them virtually unusable.
This one has been recaned and is usable, although as is usually the case, there is a slight movement to the joints of the back legs.

The chair is 'japanned', which was an English attempt to copy the very fashionable lacquered furniture being imported from the Orient. 'Japanning' was a prolonged, and therefore expensive, business. In the 1690s it was advised that 24 coats of seed-lac be applied, each one being allowed to dry before the next coat was applied, then polished, and then the gilt decoration to be painstakingly applied. This makes this chair really quite rare. Another unusual feature is the very decorative stretcher with a well turned finial.

DIMENSIONS: 53 inches tall, 18.5 inches at widest point. 19 inches deep.

PROVENANCE: In the Private Collection of a now retired Suffolk antiques dealer for the last 50 years.
| $925 USD | €787 EUR

Portrait of Princess Henrietta Anne Stuart c.1665, ...

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Oil on canvas in carved and giltwood period frame.

Princess Henrietta Anne Stuart, Duchess of Orleans (1644-1670) was painted by Sir Peter Lely a number of times. Other versions of this portrait are at Goodwood House in the Collection of the Duke of Richmond and Gordon, and a quarter length in the National Portrait Gallery.This superb portrait, which has been in a private collection for at least the last 50 years, has recently had old discoloured varnish removed and been expertly conserved.
It was previously thought to be entirely painted by Lely's studio, copying the master's original. However, now the exquisite brushwork can be seen clearly.
Catherine MacLeod, Senior Curator of Seventeenth-Century Portraits at the National Portrait Gallery, and the acknowledged expert on Lely's work, remarked in particular on the quality of the yellow drapes and the hands, saying this was likely to be Lely's work. (This on the strength of images, so the usual caveat applies). Adam Busiakiewicz, art historian, is of the same opinion.

Princess Henrietta Anne Stuart was the youngest daughter of King Charles I of England, Scotland and Ireland and his wife, Henrietta Maria of France. Fleeing England during the Civil War with her governess at the age of three, she moved to the court of her first cousin Louis XIV of France. After she married Philippe I, Duke of Orléans, brother of King Louis XIV, known as Monsieur, she became known as Madame. Her marriage was marked by frequent tensions.
Henrietta travelled to England to negotiate the Secret Treaty of Dover which would ultimately be the direct cause of the Third Anglo-Dutch War. Only a few days after returning to France Henrietta, who had been complaining of intermittent pain in her side since 1667, collapsed after drinking a glass of chicory water and died; many, including the victim, believing she had been poisoned.
Jacobite claims to the throne of Great Britain following the death of Henry Benedict Stuart descend from her through her daughter Anne Marie, Queen of Sardinia.

SIR PETER LELY (1618 - 1680) was the most important portraitist in the reign of Charles ll, although he had painted portraits throughout the Commonwealth. His work was strongly influenced by that of Sir Anthony van Dyck. Dutch born as Pieter van der Faes, he became Principal Painter to the King, painting everyone of importance and maintaining a busy and active Studio to help with the huge demand for his portraits. Members of his Studio, many of them talented artists in their own right, went on to establish independent careers.

SIZE: 52.5 x 43 inches including the frame.
PROVENANCE: English private collection for at least the last 50 years.