An Impressive Regency Mahogany Metamorphic Library Armchair, by William Wilkinson
Height: 36" Width: 25.5" Depth: 23" Seat H: 18"
Inventory Number 8482-156
With a boldly carved concave back splat, large reeded scrolled arm supports and front saber legs; the hinged caned seat with a catch opening to form leather-lined library steps. Stamped 'Wilkinson, Ludgate Hill', 'WF' and '3479'.
William Wilkinson (d. 1833) was an upholsterer and cabinetmaker who traded from 1808 at 14 Ludgate Hill, London, and was particularly known for his successful patent furniture. His sons, William and Charles, joined him in the business and it continued after their father's death as William & Charles Wilkinson.
A nearly identical chair manufactured by Messrs. Morgan and Saunders, of Catherine Street, is illustrated in Ackermann's Repository of Arts, I, 6, pl. 3, p. 40, July 1811, A206 (reproduced in P. Agius, Ackermann's Regency Furniture & Interiors, 1984, p. 60, pl. 29).
The stamp on this armchair was used until circa 1820 (The Dictionary of English Furniture Makers 1660-1840, Leeds, 1986, pp. 977-978).