'Greek' chair

  • Designer / Maker

    Designed by Edward William Godwin (1833-86)

    Manufactured by representatives of William Watt

  • Detail

    Walnut; the upholstery of later date

    102.2 x 42.6 x 49.5 cm

    English (London), circa 188.

  • Provenance

    Vereker Hamilton; by descent to Elizabeth, 2nd Baroness Kilbracken; by descent to Katherine Godley; thence by descent

  • Literature

    Susan Weber Soros, The Secular Furniture of E.W. Godwin, 1999, no.185

    Decorative Arts 1900, ex’n cat., Detroit Institute of Arts, 1994, no.12.

  • Collection

    Private collection

  • Notes

    Godwin’s design for this chair was published in The Building News, 18 December 1875. Under the heading ‘Working Drawings of Inexpensive Furniture’ and described as ‘Cheap chair’, it was shown ‘Three ways’. The present model is traditionally known as the ‘Greek’ chair because the legs are based on a chair depicted in the Parthenon (Elgin) marbles in the collection of the British Museum, London.

    Three identical chairs survive. The first is in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the second in the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (see H. Blairman & Sons, Furniture and Works of Art, 2000, no. 20, and the present example.