Chair #27, Banister-Back Chairs, c.1720-50

Chair, c.1735–50

Walnut, now with 18th-century needlework

This chair is one of four from a set of at least twenty-seven chairs. The front rail and knees are carved with a lion’s mask and the back splat is inlaid with the Brabazon falcon. The chair was probably made for Edward Brabazon (1691–1772), who became the 7th Earl of Meath in 1763. The Brabazon family seat is Kilruddery house, Bray, County Wicklow, Ireland.


Adam Bowett Catalogue (19/08/2012)


A set of walnut chairs, Irish, circa 1740. The waisted and scrolled backs have scrolled-over crest rails and baluster splats inlaid with the arms of Brabazon (the Earl of Meath). The compass slip-seats are upholstered with needlework. The deep, shaped seat rails are centered with a lion’s mask and raised on cabriole forelegs with lions’ masks to the knees and paw feet.


H: 41 ¼“ (105cm) Seat height: 17” (43cm) W: 22 ½ “ (57cm) D: 21 ½ “ (55cm)


Walnut, holly and holly stained in colours


The chair is walnut throughout; the back posts are in one piece, extending to the crest rail to which they are joined by a stub tenon. The posts are thicknessed on their inner and outer sides to emphasize the curve. The splat is tenoned into the crest rail and into the shoe, and all forward faces of the back are veneered with walnut, except where the Brabazon crest is let in. The shoe and seat rail are made separately, and the back seat rail is mortised into the back posts. The rear stretcher is dowelled into the back legs. The side rails are tenoned into the back posts and the front legs are joined to the rails with mortise-and-tenon joints. All the joints are reinforced with shaped support blocks, glued. The seat rails are deeply rebated and the raised ovolo moulding is integral and not applied; the exterior faces of the side and front rails are veneered, and the lion’s mask carved and applied to the front. The front legs are solid walnut with shaped solid brackets to either side.

Marks or stamps

The insides of the back seat rails are marked on each chair – XXVII (24.1), XXI (24.2) XXIII (24.3) XXV (24.4)


These are strongly made chairs, in more or less original condition. There are no breaks, all joint are sound, all corner blocks original and minimal movement to the veneers at the joints to the front legs. The condition of the surface is particularly noteworthy, because the chairs are unlikely to have been cleaned or repolished. The back of the chairs has a matt, slightly rough surface which is impossible to reproduce once stripped and repolished.


The Knight of Glin and James Peill, Irish Furniture, New Haven and London (2007), p. 208, no. 16.


Irish, made for the Earl of Meath, family name of Brabazon.

Purchased S. Franses April 1999