Antique Tapestry Chairs
Antique Tapestry Chairs are original chairs of a style first introduced in the late-seventeenth century, which were particularly popular in France and England.
History & Description
By definition, a tapestry chair is any type of chair that has been upholstered in tapestry. Tapestry chairs were especially prominent during the golden age of chair production in the eighteenth century and they were considered as very gracious and opulent objects.
During this time, the tapestries typically featured Boucher or Watteau-like scenes and, due to the time they took to complete, were considered as extremely valuable pieces of furniture.
Tapestry chairs went out of fashion during the nineteenth century due to the advent of Art Nouveau and Arts & Crafts movements, in which chair design became increasingly simplistic with minimal ornamentation.
Guide for collectors
Antique tapestry chairs are commonly offered by both national and international auction houses. Prices can vary considerably but the most distinguished examples can fetch hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The rarest and most expensive examples of antique tapestry chairs date from the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. Those that have retained their original tapestry are the most valuable.
Notable auction sales
On May 2nd 2002 at Christie’s in London, a set of twelve George II mahogany dining chairs with padded seats featuring foliate-patterned tapestries, circa 1750s, realised a price of £754,650.
On December 9th 2004 at Christie’s in London, a suite of Louis XVI gilt wood seat furniture, all covered in original Beauvais tapestry covers, designed by Claude Chevigny, circa 1775, realised a price of £408,450.
On June 18th 2008 at Christie’s in London, a pair of George II mahogany open armchairs, covered in Soho tapestry, attributed to William and John Gordon, circa 1755, realised a price of £337,250.
On October 22nd 2003 at Christie’s in New York, a pair of George II walnut open armchairs, covered in Flemish seventeenth century floral tapestry, designed by St. Martin’s Lane Syndicate, circa 1750, realised a price of $253,900.