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Antique Victorian Mahogany Two Seater Settee Sofa c.1870

Antique Victorian Mahogany Two Seater Settee Sofa Sold
Ref:04648a

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This is a stunning antique Victorian mahogany two seater settee, circa 1870 in date.

The sofa has been hand carved in mahogany and has a  serpentine back, scrolled arms and cabriole forelegs.

It is luxuriously upholstered in a fine cream patterned fabric. 

The quality and craftsmanship are absolutely superb.

It is a superb example of Victorian splendour and practicality.

 

Condition:

In excellent condition, please see photos for confirmation of condition.

Dimensions in cm:

Height 84 x Width 151 x Depth 80

Height 41 - Seat Height

Dimensions in inches:

Height 2 feet, 9 inches x Width 4 feet, 11 inches x Depth 2 feet, 7 inches

Height 1 foot, 4 inches - Seat Height

Victorian Furniture (1830 - 1901) very popular today, probably due to its accessibility more than the esthethics. There was plenty of furniture made due to the change in history of methods of manufacture, the machine had taken over and was able to produce mass amounts of Victorian furniture to satisfy the vast demand by the middle class people that desired it.

Furniture history changed forever through the Victorian period. It became desirable to have a home laden with furniture to show your status to your peers.

Throughout history Queen Victoria identified herself with the middle class. Therefore the furniture of this period was made for an ever-increasing middle class population. The most popular woods used to produce furniture included: mahogany, burr walnut, rosewood and ebony. Thick, darkly coloured woods with ornate carvings, high-tone gloss, richly carved silhouettes and as many flourishes and ornaments as the surface of a piece of furniture would allow were typical for this period. They were designed to give the appearance of being owned by the wealthy.

Mahogany and rosewood were popular and rich colours, intensified by layering high-gloss lacquers over stained wood were highly desired. Comfort was an important consideration for purchasers who wanted their homes to be gracious reflections of their financial, so velvet cushions and brocade sofa fabric were often coordinated with velvet drapes for maximum impact.

Mahogany 
is probably one of the largest ‘families’ of hardwood, having many different varieties within its own species.

Mahogany has been used for centuries in ship building, house building, furniture making etc and is the core structure of just about every 19th century vanity box, dressing case or jewellery box. It became more of a Victorian trend to dress Mahogany with these decorative veneers, such as Rosewood, Kingwood, Burr Walnut and Coromandel, so that the actual Mahogany was almost hidden from view.

Mahogany itself is a rich reddish brown wood that can range from being plain in appearance to something that is so vibrant, figured and almost three dimensional in effect. 

Although Mahogany was most often used in its solid form, it also provided some beautifully figured varieties of veneer like ‘Flame’ Mahogany and ‘Fiddleback’ Mahogany (named after its preferred use in the manufacture of fine musical instruments).

Cuban Mahogany was so sought after, that by the late 1850′s, this particular variety became all but extinct.

Angelica Kauffman, RA (1741 - 1807)

was a Swiss-born Austrian Neoclassical painter who had a successful career in London and Rome. Though born as "Kauffmann", Kauffman is the preferred spelling of her name in English; it is the form she herself used most in signing her correspondence, documents and paintings.

While Kauffman produced many types of art, she identified herself primarily as a history painter, an unusual designation for a woman artist in the 18th century. History painting, was considered the most elite and lucrative category in academic painting during this time period. Under the direction of Sir Joshua Reynolds, the Royal Academy made a strong effort to promote history painting to a native audience who were more interested in commissioning and buying portraits and landscapes.

Despite the popularity that Kauffman enjoyed in British society and her success as an artist, she was disappointed by the relative apathy that the British had towards history painting. Ultimately she left Britain for the continent, where history painting was better established, held in higher esteem and patronized.

The works of Angelica Kauffman have retained their reputation. By 1911, rooms decorated with her work were still to be seen in various quarters. At Hampton Court was a portrait of the duchess of Brunswick; in the National Portrait Gallery, a self-portrait. There were other pictures by her at Paris, at Dresden, in the Hermitage at St Petersburg, in the Alte Pinakothek atMunich, in Kadriorg Palace, Tallinn (Estonia).

Satinwood

is a hard and durable wood with a satinlike sheen, much used in cabinetmaking, especially in marquetry. It comes from two tropical trees of the family Rutaceae (rue family). East Indian or Ceylon satinwood is the yellowish or dark-brown heartwood of Chloroxylon swietenia.

The lustrous, fine-grained, usually figured wood is used for furniture, cabinetwork, veneers, and backs of brushes. West Indian satinwood, sometimes called yellow wood, is considered superior. It is the golden yellow, lustrous, even-grained wood found in the Florida Keys and the West Indies.

It has long been valued for furniture. It is also used for musical instruments, veneers, and other purposes. Satinwood is classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Magnoliopsida, order Sapindales, family Rutaceae.

Our reference: 04648a