A highlight from our upcoming auction of Fine Furniture, Sculpture, Carpets, Ceramics and Works of Art on Wednesday 20 November, is this Regency mahogany metamorphic library chair, supplied by Thomas Weeks in the manner of Morgan and Sanders.
Designed to enhance any library or study, this model cleverly incorporates two pieces of furniture in one, easily allowing use as a desk chair, as well as becoming a flight of steps to reach the higher shelves in one's library. This excellent and interesting Regency example, consigned to us from a Private Collection, Shropshire showcases beautiful craftsmanship. Its frame with reeded detail overall is flanked by scrolled arms and sabre legs. The hinged mechanism opens to form steps, each with a gilt tooled green leather inset panel, with an engraved brass plaque on each side, one incorporating the button release.
Our Furniture specialist Ben Brown has given a pre-sale estimate of £5,000-8,000, although it could achieve more. A metamorphic armchair of this form and bearing virtually identical engraved brass plaques for Thomas Week's was sold at Christie's, London in June 2001 for £27,025. Lot 190 is possibly the only other one that has come to the market in a long time.
The brass plaques of this chair are inscribed with 'Weeks's Pattern at his Museum. Tichborne St. Hay Market 137'. Thomas Weeks established his museum of mechanical curiosities at 3 and 4 Tichborne Street in about 1797. Ingenious clocks, self-playing organs, toys, animated spiders and birds of paradise are recorded as forming part of Weeks's collection, which was sold off by auction in 1834 following his death.
A metamorphic armchair of this model was published in Ackerman's Repository of Arts in July 1811 and was described as 'This ingenious piece of furniture is manufactured at Messrs Morgan and Sanders, Catherine-St Strand'. An example by Morgan and Sanders is in the collection of Trinity College, Oxford.
AUCTION DATE & LOCATION
Wednesday 20 November | 10.30am
Donnington Priory, Newbury, Berkshire RG14 2JE
Friday 15 November: 10am-4pm
Sunday 17 November: 10am-2pm
Monday 18 November: 9am-5.30pm
Tuesday 19 November: 9am-4.30pm
Day of sale: from 8.30am
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