Pair of side chairs

Ref: 24
  • Designer / Maker

    Designed Alfred Waterhouse (1830-1905)

    Probably manufactured by Henry Capel (1866-82)

  • Detail

    Ebonised, with original velvet upholstery and brass studs

    96.5 x 47 x 44 (max.)

    English (London), probably 1872

  • Provenance

    Roundell Palmer, 1st Earl of Selborne (1812-95), and by descent; sold Sotheby’s Belgravia, 28 May 1975, lot 122 (set of four); acquired through Haslam & Whiteway; Clive and Jane Wainwright

  • Exhibited

    The Clive and Jane Wainwright Collection, H. Blairman & Sons, 21 June – 14 July 2023, no. 24

  • Literature

    Mark Girouard, ‘Blackmoor House, Hampshire – II The Property of the Earl of Selborne’, Country Life, 5 September 1974, pp. 614-17.  One of the chairs shown in fig. 1    

    Clive and Jane Wainwright Collection, London: H. Blairman & Sons, 2023, no. 24

  • Collection

    Private collection

  • Note

    The V&A website entry for W.41-1975 gives James Capel as the maker of furniture from Blackmoor House.  But it seems more likely that the present chair was made by Henry Capel of Great Titchfield Street, London; artistic furniture maker and upholsterer; see

    In Clive and Jane Wainwright Collection (op. cit.), the present chairs are, probably erroneously, ascribed to James Capel.

    A photograph of Beatrix Potter (1866-1943), taken on 3 October 1897 by her father Rupert Potter (1932-1914), shows the writer sitting on an identical chair (V&A, E.765-2005).  The photograph was taken at at Lingholm, an estate on the north-west side of Derwentwater, Keswick; the architect in 1873 was Alfred Waterhouse.

    Thanks to Clarissa Ward for drawing our attention to the BIFMO entry.