The increase in trade between England and the Far East engendered a fascination for things Chinese in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. This chair, though made in England, is decorated in imitation of Chinese lacquer, and the central splat bears an image of a mandarin with an umbrella. According to the original label still affixed to the chair, it was made by Giles Grendey of London, who "makes and sells all sorts of cabinet goods, tables, glasses, etc." The chair is one of some eighty such miscellaneous pieces that Grendey supplied on order to the duke of Infantado for his castle of Lazcano in Spain.
Signature: Bears original label of Giles Grendey on underside of seat rail: GILES GRENDEY / St. John's Square, Clerkenwell, / LONDON, /MAKES and Sells all sorts of / CABINET GOODS, / Tables, Glasses, &c.
Duke of Infantado , castle of Lazcano near San Sebastian, Spain ; Adolph Loewi , Venice (until 1937) ; Louis J. Boury (in 1937; to MMA)
Artist: Attributed to Thomas How (British, active 1710–33)Date: ca. 1724–36Medium: Walnut and walnut veneer, parcel-gilt, the seat rails of beech; gilded lead mounts on the knees and front rail; verre églomisé panel mounted on the splat; covered in contemporary tent stitch embroidery on canvas needlework not original to the chairAccession: 64.101.936, .937On view in:Not on view