The Loop Chair in Sotheby’s Sale of PROPERTY FROM THE COLLECTION OF MRS. PAUL MELLON: INTERIORS

I was eager to peruse the upcoming Sotheby’s auctions of PROPERTY FROM THE COLLECTION OF MRS. PAUL MELLON.  

Many items have been added to my catalogue but the loop chairs really stopped me.  I have long had an affinity for the loop chair and have them in my own home in a more recent version (HERE).

I was shocked to see these originals were from the 18th C.  Who knew Frances Elkins was inspired by these?

N09247-1301_web
comprising six side chairs and one armchair.  Together with an armchair of a later date.  8 pieces.
Estimate

 

60, 000 — 80, 000

 

height 36 1/2 in.
92.7 cm

The present chairs were once in the collection of the industrialist Frank Green, Esq., and illustrated by Percy Macquoid inA History of English Furniture, 1904-08, who described them as ‘more ingenious than beautiful;’ see Shax Riegler, ‘The it chair, ‘ The Magazine Antiques,  January 2009, vol. CLXXV, No. 1, pp. 146-151, fig. 4.  The set of chairs then entered the collection of Edward Burgess Hudson, founder of the English magazine Country Life, where two chairs where photographed in his drawing room at 15 Queen Anne’s Gate, London, in the 1920s (op. cit., fig. 2).   They were then sold in the 1930s to Ronald and Marietta Peabody Tree, whose house, Ditchely Park, Oxfordshire, was designed in the 1720s by the architect James Gibbs for George Lee, the 2nd Earl of Lichfield, and where the armchair is seen in an interior watercolor of the writing room by Alexandre Sérébriakoff.  The chairs were sold by Mrs. Tree in these rooms, October 8-9, 1976, lot 312 (illustrated on the cover of the sale catalogue).
The present chairs inspired Frances Elkins to create a 20th century model called the ‘loop’ chair in 1934 for the living room of Mr. and Mrs. Leslie Wheeler, Lake Forest, Illinois, where they were photographed in situ around a card table; see Salny, op. cit., pp. 104-105.   Stephen M. Salny’s groundbreaking monograph Frances Elkins Interior Design, New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2005, has refocused interest in this extremely talented designer originally from Wisconsin whose work with her brother, the well-known architect, David Adler, did much to transform American interior decoration in the second quarter of the 20th century.
I am also coveting these few things…spend a little free time perusing the estate of Bunny Mellon. You will be wowed!
129N09245_4HLWZ_silo
1903 – 1970
UNTITLED (YELLOW, ORANGE, YELLOW, LIGHT ORANGE)
signed and dated 1955 on the reverse
oil on canvas
81 1/2 by 60 in.
207 by 152.5 cm.
103N09245_4CF46
1903 – 1970
UNTITLED
oil on canvas
68 by 54 in.
172.7 by 137.2 cm.
Executed in 1970.

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