Take a Seat

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An Irish mahogany chair in the entrance hall of Rokeby, County Louth. The house was built for Richard Robinson, Archbishop of Armagh, initially to the designs of Thomas Cooley (1740-1784) and then, following the architect’s early death, the job was taken over by Francis Johnston (1760-1829). This handsome chair is one of a set believed to date from the end of the 18th century and attributed to Mack Williams and Gibton. However, since that business was only established around 1812, the chairs could be earlier, made perhaps when John Mack was still working by himself (until 1801). They all bear a peer’s coronet so certainly belong to some date after Archbishop Robinson was created first Baron Rokeby in 1777. Perhaps the commission for them came from his third-cousin Matthew Robinson-Morris who succeeded to the title in 1794?
More on Rokeby soon.

3 comments on “Take a Seat

  1. that is an 18th century chair

  2. tim garland says:

    The chair show influence of Chippendale Adam design circa 1770s and not of something being made about 1790-1812.
    The applied turnings do look a little crude compared the the rest of the Hall Chair but could be the Irish design being use.
    Still they are a very nice and better quality than you can find today.

    • Thanks for your comment; that information is most helpful. I shall look again at those chairs when next in the house, but there was often something of a timelag between changes of taste in England and that in Ireland, thereby making it difficult to date pieces stylistically with strict accuracy.

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