About this artwork
A taste for new and stylish furnishings inspired by continental fashion played a prominent role in the evolution of design in 18th-century Britain. The growing wealth of aristocrats, as well as of an ever-expanding middle class attracted a growing number of British and foreign craftsmen to London. One of the largest and busiest cabinetmaking firms in the city was that of Giles Grendey. In operation from 1716 to 1766, Grendy’s workshop catered both to a domestic clientele as well as an export market that included Norway and Spain.
Grendey produced a wide variety of furniture that ranged from church furnishings to stylish, finely carved pieces like this side chair. The lines of the chair are curved in true Rococo style, from the crest at the top to the horseshoe-shaped seat and cabriole (double curve) legs. With its carved shells, pendant bellflowers and acanthus, and its urn-shaped splat (the pierced supporting form of the back), this side chair would have appealed to diverse customers, including aristocrats, merchants, and professionals.
- Giles Grendey
- Side Chair
- Walnut and 18th-century replacement upholstery
- 97 × 52.1 × 45.7 cm (38 3/16 × 20 1/2 × 18 in.)
- Gift of the Antiquarian Society through the Mrs. Edgar J. Uihlein Fund