Are You Sitting Comfortably?

Are You Sitting Comfortably?

Four settees from a suite of seat-furniture made for Raynham Hall, Norfolk, in the 1790s are to be offered for sale in our Fine Interiors auction on the 14-15 September.

24 August 2021

The grey painted settees with beaded frames were almost certainly commissioned by George, 1st Marquess Townshend (d. 1807). He enjoyed a glittering military career serving under General James Wolfe at the siege of Quebec in 1759 and was appointed Lord Lieutenant of Ireland from 1767-1772. His second wife, Anne Montgomery, was Mistress of the Robes to Caroline, Princess of Wales, from 1795 to 1820.

 Settees at Raynham Hall

Two of the settees in situ in the Red Drawing Room at Raynham Hall

 

These settees were part of a suite conceived in the ‘French antique' or 'Grecian' style championed by Henry Holland and other Francophiles in the retinue of the Prince Regent.

Both are recorded in the drawing room at Raynham alongside other parts of the suite in an inventory taken after the untimely death of the 2nd Marquess in 1811. In 1909, Country Life photographed the suite in situ at Raynham Hall, in the 'Red Drawing Room' and ‘Dining-room’.

 

 

Lord and Lady Townshend sitting on one of the sofas due to be sold with dogs Bob and Fred

 

The suite was inherited in the Victorian era by Captain John Townshend (d.1863), a Royal Naval Rear-Admiral, and MP for Tamworth from 1847 to 1855, and has since come by descent to Lord Townshend, 8th Marquess Townshend at Raynham Hall.

 

 

Bob sitting comfortably on one of the sofas situated in the Marble Hall at Raynham Hall

 

The suite will be offered as two pairs in the Fine Interiors auction on September 14-15, estimated at £5,000-8,000 a pair.

A set of 16 chairs from the same set was sold at Christie’s for £31,250 in 2013.

 

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