'Eagle' chair

  • Designer / Maker

    Designed by E.W. Godwin (1833-86)

    The manufacture attributed to William Watt, the Artistic Furniture Warehouse (1857-85/87)

  • Detail

    Oak, with the original leather upholstery

    English (London), circa 1877, or earlier

  • Literature

    Susan Weber Soros, The Secular Furniture of E.W. Godwin, New Haven & London, 1999, pp. 94-95, no. 114 (for a discussion of this model)

  • Collection

    Private collection

  • Notes

    Godwin conceived this design for Dromore Castle in around 1869.  The original drawing (see left) is in the collection of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA Ran 7B1 [51]).

    The present example follows precisely the design published in William Watt’s Art Furniture Designed by Edward William Godwin, 1877, pl. 11 (see left).

    Only two other versions of this model are known to survive. One is reproduced in Soros (loc. cit); resold from collection of Maurice Rheims, Piasa, 5 October 2016, lot 17.  This chair (almost certainly from Dromore) was subsequently acquired by ourselves, and is now in a private collection (see far right). For further information on the ‘Rheims’ chair see Susan Weber (intro.), E.W. Godwin FURNITURE, 2018, no. 2.

    For the third chair, see Peter Hoare, ‘Eagle Eyed’, Traditional Interior Decoration, May 1988, pp. 45-46.

    An unidentified example was formerly in the collection of the actor Sir Henry Irving; see Strand Magazine, 4 (1892), pp. 280-91, p.282.  Most recently Oscar Graf has drawn our attention to what may be another chair, photographed in 1889 at 29, Lennox Gardens, London.  There two chairs known only from photographs may be identical with one or other of the surviving examples cited above.