10070 A suite of white painted late Louis XVI chairs comprising four side chairs and an arm chair, the fluted column backs with an arcaded balustrade top rail, the balustrade repeated to the seat rails and standing on tapering, fluted legs on toupie feet. Original grey/blue paint decoration underneath later painted scheme.
Willem Kops House, Haarlem, Amsterdam 1793-5
1st Lord Tweedmouth(1820-1894) , Brook House
Sir Wyndham Knatchbull 1844-1917), Mersham le Hatch
Dutch (or French)
Side chair height: 34.5 ins (87.5 cms)
Width: 17.5 ins (44.5 cms)
Depth: 16 ins (41 cms)
Arm chair height: 37 ins (94 cms)
Width: 24 ins (61 cms)
Depth: 21 ins (53.5 cms)
A suite of identical side chairs with this very unusual balustrade detail to the seat rails and retaining their original silk upholstery are in Centraal Museum, Utrecht. The suite was commissioned circa 1793 for the merchant and art collector Willem Kops in classical Louis XVI style for his Haarlem townhouse. The entire decorative interior of the salon from this remarkable house designed by van der Hart has been saved and installed in the Rijksmuseum complete with a similar suite of painted chairs.
Although the quality and construction of these chairs initially seems to be French, the detailing and timber indicates an Amsterdam workshop under the considerable influence of a French emigre craftsman. No bills survive for the Kops house but the French born cabinetmaker and tapissier Josesph Cuel is known to have worked for van der Hart on an adjacent townhouse in Haarlem and is a possibly the supplier of this important suite.
For a detailed study of this little known subject and specifically French upholsterers in Amsterdam, see Reinier Baarsen. FHS journal vol XXI 1985
Many thanks to my Dutch friends for enlightening and sharing this information with me!