A pair of George III ladder-back chairs

A pair of George III ladder-back chairs



A pair of George III mahogany ladder-back chairs, the backs formed of of four horizontal ribs finally carved and pierced with Gothic scrolls and quatrefoil, the supports further carved with decorative fleur de lys, with saddle seats and moulded, squared chamfered legs, decorated with carved classical egg-and-dart, united by H-stretchers and re-upholstered in 'Apsley Red.'

Ladder-back chairs originated from fashionable London cabinet-making firms notably Giles Grendey and Elizabeth Hutt & Son and the design was quickly taken up by regional makers. The curved seat was also utilised on a ladder-back chair drawing in the Gillows archive for a set of walnut chairs for a Captain John Hasell of the East India Company in 1769.

Another name for the pierced fret shapes as seen in the backs of these examples is 'fiddle back' and also the 'Old Splat' pattern, as described by Gillows. Cut-out shapes such as fiddle sound holes and Gothic motifs took more time and the journeymen were paid extra as a result.


Height 97 cm / 38 "
Width 59 cm / 23 "
Depth 56 cm / 22 "

circa 1760