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A fine and rare pair of George III mahogany hall chairs having pierced scroll backs with a painted armorial cartouche at the centre. The dished and shaped seats are supported by cabriole legs terminating in scroll toes. One chair later inscribed to the reverse 'Home, Sweet Home, 30 Hill Street London' and with the dates 1785 and 1858, corresponding to the term of the leased London residence of Lord and Lady Brownlow. These elegant Georgian chairs bear the patriotic inscription ‘Home! Sweet Home!’ from Sigismond Thalberg’s 1857 composition that was much favoured at President Abraham Lincoln’s White House and derived from the words of John Payne’s 1823 Opera, “Mid pleasures and palaces though we may roam, be it ever so humble, there’s no place like home.” The inscription was added in 1858 to the back of the chairs, which belonged to the Hon. John William Spencer Home-Cust, later 2nd Earl Brownlow (d. 1867). The chairs, with their rich ribbon-fretted backs displaying the Cust family crest on an azure blue shield, had served in the hall of his Mayfair home since 1785, when they were commissioned by Brownlow Cust, 1st Baron Brownlow (d. 1808). Their backs derive in particular from a 1759 ‘Hall Chair’ pattern issued in the 3rd edition of the St. Martin’s Lane cabinet-maker Thomas Chippendale’s, Gentleman and Cabinet-Maker’s Director (1762).Literature:Thomas Chippendale, The Gentleman & Cabinet-Maker's Director, plate 17. London, 1762. (A Re-Print of the Third Edition. Dover Publications, New York, 1966.)
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