Armchair, X-Frame, 19th Century, English Jacobean-Style, Upholstered in a Green



Surmounted with finials above the rectangular back and seat with a loose cushion. The scroll arms are supported by an 'X' frame with stretchers. 

Back height including finials 123 cm., 48 ½ in., seat height 55 cm., 21 ½ in., Width 66 cm., 26 in, depth 64 cm, 25 in.

This was the first model of upholstered chair first recorded in 1466, and enormous expense was lavished on the silk or velvet upholstery. It was a chair of state and confined to Royal Palaces and a few Great Houses where it would have been in a room of state. This chair is upholstered in a lavish, green silk damask brocaded with gold threat and traditionally embellished with bullion fringe.

The 'X' chair evolved in the late 15th-early 16th century. In the Ewelme Inventory of 1466 the Dukes of Suffolk travelled to Oxfordshire with 'a chaire of tymbre of astate covered w blue cloth of gold and panells of copper..a case of lether thereto' in which the chair would have been packed. The woodwok on 'X' was completely covered with silk or velvet, the seat consisting of loose cushions resting on webbing and were confined to Royal Palaces and a few Great Houses. The more important of Henry VIII's embroidered chairs were of this type and they are represented in portraits of the age. Cardinal Wolsey's standard of luxury exceeded that of other courtiers and in his inventory a large number of these upholstered chairs are noted.

Early into Elizabeth's reign the Royal coffer-maker William Green supplied the Crown with the frames for a number of 'X' chairs and provided the coverings of gold, velvet and other rich fabrics trimmed with fringes and secured with copper nails on which enormous sums were expended.

Towards the end of the Elizabethan period richly upholstered 'X' chairs were supplied by coffer makers and became fashionable in great establishments rivaling continental standards of luxury in furnishings. When an inventory was taken in 1583 at Kenilworth castle a number of chairs of this type were among the furniture in the possession of the Earl of Leicester, Robert Dudley. Although their position was not recorded, it can be assumed that they were in a room of state : ' A chaire of crimson velvet, the seate and back partlie embrothered with R.L in clothe of gold and the beare and ragged staffe in clothe of silver garnished wtihe lace and studded with gilt nailes. This chair was probably of 'X'form.

Nearly all the chairs at Hardwick Hall in 1600 were upholstered in similar splendour. These richly upholstered 'X' chairs supplied to the Royal Palaces under Elizabeth continued to be made in the early-17th century but Knole Park in Kent is the only place where they survive. There are four 'X chairs at Knole, one upholstered in red satin with appliqué patterns of 'cloth of gold' and silver spangles, another in crimson velvet, another in crimson with a gold and silver pattern and the fourth in a white ground embroidered with gold and silver threads.

After his execution, the inventory of Charles I describes a number of chairs of this type. In the portrait by Edward Bower representing Charles I at his trial the King is seated in am armchair resembling Juxon's illustrated above.

The silk damask is in the most prized and expensive color of the late 17th century, 'blue', brocaded with gold thread. Until the invention of Prussian Blue in the first decade of the 18th Century, a very good fast blue dye could only be made from lapis lazuli, which was extremely expensive. The color of the silk changes with the intensity of light and appears peacock green in very little light similar to the image below. I can provide a sample of the silk to illustrate this.

Provenance: This 'X' chair was purchased together with a State Bed, from a private collector in the United States. They have reputedly come from the collection of Sir Charles Lawes Wittewronge, Rothamsted Park.

All prices exclude custom clearance fees which, where appropriate, will be charged directly to the client by your receiving courier, importer or government.
Height 123 cm / 48 "
Width 66 cm / 26 "
Depth 64 cm / 25 "

19th Century





Collectors / Designers



Jacobean (In the style of)